Simple Weight Training

To Get Lean Safely and permanently, embrace the lifting lifestyle.

Here’s how to get started.

Personal Training is expensive and time consuming. In person one on one training requires you to travel to the gym, or get your home ready for a visitor.

Group weight training, which I taught for years at my studio, is very effective, but it is difficult to match the weight, reps, and rest intervals perfectly for everyone in the class. In addition, the trainees who have the most success for years and years are the ones who embrace the lifting lifestyle, and learn to lift on their own.

Before you start a weight training lifestyle, I want you to know the two things that are most likely to wreck a resistance training plan.

  1. Injury. If you pull a muscle, twist an ankle, or inflame your knees, your training pattern will be broken. You will have to take time off to heal, and it is extremely de-motivating to start back at square one. Some people do learn their lesson and start over, but it’s much wiser to lift with caution and respect for form in order to prevent acute and over use injuries.
  2. Avoidance. I also call this unwillingness to train, or even: resistance to resistance. This is the impulse to skip training sessions because you perceive them as too long, boring, confusing, or difficult.

One key to embracing resistance training for life is to treat it like the sport and art form it is. Begin with the basic lifts the way an athlete or a musician would start with drills or scales. I approach each session the same way I approach the barre in ballet class, or the center steps in jazz class.

Another key is to stay within the boundaries of your skill and ability by giving yourself permission to keep the weight low until you are willing and eager to increase it. For the beginner, just performing the movements themselves with body-weight creates progress.

Key number three is to have a complete plan every time you train. Your complete plan will cover exercises, repetitions, sets, and the frequency of your training.

Pairs of 10, 8, and 5 pound Dumb-bells for the beginner.

Here is the complete plan I recommend for your first four weeks of lifting.

Frequency: Three times per week with one day between sessions: For example Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Exercises: Three non- competing super-sets with eight reps per movement for three sets.

The first super-set is your warmup, and it should be performed with 50% of your working weight, or body weight if you are a beginner.

Super-set #1: Dumb-bell squats: 8 reps followed by Push Ups: 8 reps. Rest 30 seconds. Perform two more super-sets for a total of 3 rounds.

Super-set #2: Dumb-Bell Romanian Dead-lifts: 8 reps followed by Dumb Bell Rows: 8 reps per arm. Rest 30 seconds. Perform two more super-sets for a total of 3 rounds.

Super-set #3: Dumb-Bell Reverse Lunge: 8 reps per leg followed by Dumb-bell Curls: 8 reps per arm. Rest 30 seconds. Perform two more super-sets for a total of 3 rounds.

Gently stretch major muscle groups, and you’re done.

If faster fat loss is your goal, you can perform 8 to 16 minutes of interval training exercise, but the resistance exercises are the priority. As a dancer, I use dance steps for my interval training immediately after my weight session.

The simplest way to do beginner intervals is to walk briskly up hill for 20 seconds, then walk back down for 10 seconds. Complete 8 rounds. Rest at least one minute and repeat the interval round if desired.

Please leave a comment with any questions, and share with someone who wants to get lean and strong.

catherine@dareshine.com

All the best, Catherine

My Book: Keep the Change Transform Your Body For Good on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ql26LB

Is It Better To Walk or Jog to Lose Weight?

I’m happy to answer this question because it lets me dig in to some of the things I’ve discovered about walking, jogging, running, and sprinting in the course of the past 45 years.

When I was in the 7th grade, I struggled to jog a mile in P.E. even though I was pretty good at sprinting. It wasn’t until I learned how to do intervals in my 40’s that I was able to use walking, jogging, running, and sprinting to lose weight and to increase my speed and endurance.

There are some good studies that demonstrate the connection between muscle fiber composition and running ability, here is an article in Runner’s World that goes into this topic in depth:

https://www.runnersworld.com/advanced/a20784071/how-muscle-fiber-recruitment-affects-running-performance/

It’s good to understand how your muscle fiber genetics can affect your walking and running, but my experience with walking and jogging for weight loss is that the method you enjoy the most will give you the best fat loss.

I suggest using walk/jog intervals like this: warm up with five minutes of easy walking, then jog until you become winded. Your level of conditioning will determine how long this takes. Ease back into a walk until your breathing and heart rate come back down, and you feel eager to jog or even run again. Repeat this sequence for eight rounds, and then walk until you feel completely rested. Repeat the interval session if you wish.

When I was a certified trainer, I learned that fat burning and conditioning happen during recovery from an interval as well as during exertion.

In other words, every time your body returns to baseline from the exertion of jogging or running, you are getting just as much fat burning benefit as when you are working on your endurance. To wrap up my answer, I will say both walking and jogging enhance weight loss and fat loss, especially when you perform them in intervals.

No matter what, enjoy your training, and I wish you well.

Catherine Gordon

How Do I Lose Arm Fat?

How Do I Lose Arm Fat? Is the question I just answered on Quora.com.

Quora has been very helpful in showing me what people are really looking for in fitness advice, so I’ve decided to share my answer with you.

Catherine’s Answer on “Arm Fat.”

When I was trying to overcome obesity back in 2002, I did a lot of cardio and almost no resistance training. As a result, I lost muscle in my legs and arms, and I experienced loose skin starting in my late 30s. When I learned how to lift weights with proper form and technique, I was able to bring definition back to my legs and arms. When I had my fitness transformation studio, by clients were always amazed by the fact that when they trained their arms with resistance exercise they got smaller, not bigger!

Here is one way lifting makes the arms look better: If you build the deltoid muscles, which are at the top of your arms, that lifts and lightens the skin on the opposite side of your arms.

Here are my favorite exercises for defined arms:

One Arm Overhead press, Deltoid Raises, Tricep Kickbacks, Bicep Curls, Hammer Curls, Bent Over Double Tricep Extensions, and Butterfly Raises. You can find video examples of all of these exercises on YouTube, and I would incorporate them into your fitness routine two or three times per week. A sample arm day would be One Arm Overhead Press: 8 reps per arm 3 rounds. Tricep Kickbacks: 8 reps per arm 3 rounds, Bicep Curls: 8 reps per arm 3 rounds, Deltoid Raises: 8 reps 3 rounds.

Finally, it sounds like your diet is already working for you, so if you keep doing what works in the nutrition department, you should definitely see improvement in four weeks if not sooner with these exercises.

Healthy Happy Summer

For a healthy, happy Summer I want to invite you to practice what you love, especially when it comes to movement.

Whether you are lifting, dancing, doing yoga, or my current favorite, playing with your dogs, I hope you will find enjoyment in everything you do this Summer.

I know that it takes discipline to make healthy choices, so I want to invite you to use most of your will power in the kitchen, while you have more fun with your fitness.

In my classes and training sessions, I will be offering ways to connect the way we train to the activities we enjoy.  Balance, strength, and flexibility give us the freedom to live life to the fullest.  Whether you book a one-on one session, come to the morning Strength Plus class, or take a gentle approach with Chair Yoga Fitness, I want to encourage you to enjoy your fitness journey.

Here is the Summer schedule:

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 8AM: Strength Plus.

This class includes warm up, intervals, resistance, dance based movement for balance and co-ordination, plus yoga inspired cool down.

 

Every Thursday at 5:30PM: Chair Yoga Fitness.

This class is for anyone with balance, knee, of back issues who wants a class that improves strength, flexibility, balance, and well being with a chair for support.  Note that this class incorporates light to moderate weights, and the level of difficulty is tailored to your needs.

For more information or to book a training session, e-mail me:

catherine@cardiofreedom.com

 

 

Cabbage Soup: Sugar Freedom Style

Sugar Freedom Style Cabbage Soup Can Help You Get Off Of Sugar

When people ask me, “How do I get off of sugar?” I reply, “Eat something else.”

So many of the simple grab and go foods we eat contain sugar, grains, and processed vegetable oils.  All of these foods are inflammatory and appetite boosting in my experience.  The fresh whole foods that make me and my students feel energized and satisfied can take time and effort to prepare.  That’s why I’m posting this recipe.  It is simple enough that anyone can make it, and once it’s prepared you can have some whenever you feel a craving, or you need something to hold you over until it’s time for your next meal.  Plus, if you practice intermittent fasting, in my opinion, this soup won’t officially break your fast.

Freedom Soup Recipe

Ingredients: One 31 oz. Jar of Bone Broth

1/2 Onion: diced

3 Stalks Celery: sliced

1 Basket Mushrooms: Chopped (about 1&1/2 cups)

2 Cups Cabbage: chopped

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Directions:  In a large soup pot over medium heat add the oil and sauté all of the ingredients above in the order listed.  Add bone broth and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer 40 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

This soup is ideal for anyone starting a low carb or Ketogenic diet, as it can stop the symptoms of “Low Carb Flu,” which happens when the body looses sodium and electrolytes through the diuretic effect of a transition to low carb eating.

Contact me at 9catherine9@gmail.com for personalized training plans.  Here is a sample below.

The entire Sugar Freedom program is available at: sugarfreedom.com

Here is a salad to go with your soup, or anytime. (Oops, it goes sideways at the start, but then I turn the camera the right way.)

Do Your “Besties.”

Do your Besties: a new way to do interval training that you will enjoy.

If you are doing the Spring Training Challenge, you will need to be training at home, even if you can make it to my classes at Dance at the Dome.  You will be weight training three times per week, and these intervals should be done on two other days per week for 11 minutes.  Evidence shows that a session this long has powerful health benefits.    You can also do these as a warm up: just do 4 rounds.

How to do “Besties.”

This beginner session consists of ten reps of Stick ups followed by 10 seconds of rest, ten reps of squats followed by ten seconds of rest, 10 reps of cross crawls, followed by 10 seconds of rest, 10 reps of total body extensions, followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Do for rounds as a warm up or repeat for 11 minutes as a training session on days when you don’t lift weights.

E-mail me: 9catherine9@gmail.com with any questions, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel when you watch the video.

 

Spring Training Challenge Starts 3/20/2018

Catherine’s Spring Training Challenge Starts 3/20/2018. In class or on-line.

I am delighted to announce that the  Spring Transformation Challenge: Train For Joy, will begin on March 20th.  The challenge will feature Sugar Freedom, and my Positive Training Program.  The Sugar Freedom method encourages you to find your most wholesome foods, and I created the T.E.A.M. technique to teach you how to train for the life you love.  The challenge lasts 4 weeks, and there are two  $125.00 prizes for the most inspiring transformations.

E-mail me: 9catherine9@gmail.com for details or click on “class schedule” above.

Catherine Best Gordon ACE-CPT Presents:

The Spring Transformation Challenge

Discover the “Best Practices” to lose fat, and never gain it back.

4 Weeks of Proven Nutrition, Training, and Support. Plus: 2 $125.00 cash prizes for the most inspiring transformations.

Cost: $50.  Location: in class at TCAA: Dance at the Dome or on-line.

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Do you need a simple exercise routine for beginners?  Here is a warm up and a simple weightlifting program for you.

Don’t be afraid to start lifting weights.

One of my biggest fears when I started resistance training was that I would look foolish in the gym.  I’m 5’1″ so many of the machines are hard to adjust to my height, and  I didn’t know very many dumb-bell exercises, so it was hard to get good results.

That’s where a Certified Personal Trainer can help.  I learned from Craig Ballantyne, John Barban, Jennifer Nicole Lee, and more by searching for programs on-line. I was able to start lifting at home with their programs, and when I switched to the gym, I knew what to do in order to get a safe, effective workout.

Today, I invite you to learn from me, and get started with these exercises.  I designed this program for a small group class that I just started teaching, and they asked me to to post it on-line so that they know what to do at home, so thanks students!

Start with a warm up of 8 Stick ups, 8 Prisoner Squats, and 8 Cross Crawls.  Repeat.

Super sets: do 8 reps of each pair of exercises. Do each pair three times.

Super Set #1: Chest Press and Glute Raise.

Super Set #2: Bird Dog and Double Tricep extension.

Follow along with the video to learn how.  Learn proper form and technique before you increase the weight.  By using good form, and contracting your muscles, you can get excellent results with light weights.  That’s one of the wonderful things about being a beginner.  With patience and persistence, you will get stronger, more confident, and you will train safely.

2/1/2018: Here is the latest “Homework” video.

10 Squats, 10 Romanian Deadlifts, 10 Overhead Press, 10 Rows per side, 10 Curls.  Do all exercises as a circuit, and repeat 2 times for a total of 3 circuits.

Remember to check with your health care provider before staring a new exercise program.

E-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com if you need a custom program.

Happy training,

Catherine

7 Benefits of Resistance Training

This article on the 7 benefits of heavy resistance training was written by the experts at the American Council on Exercise.  As an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, it helps to be able to pass along the science of weight training on my blog, especially when we have so much to cover in our one on one and group training sessions.

Here is the article:

For years only a finite number of dedicated fitness enthusiasts practiced a sure-fire method of achieving results from exercise: weightlifting with the heaviest loads possible. Most common gym routines are derived from the bodybuilding world and focus on moderate-to-high repetition ranges, usually eight to 15 reps, to increase the size of a muscle. Serious strength-training enthusiasts know that lifting heavy for five repetitions or less, while extremely challenging, is the quickest way to increase muscle strength.

There is a distinctive difference between training for muscle size—technically called hypertrophy—and training for strength and increasing a muscle’s ability to generate force. While lifting heavy can improve the force output of a muscle without significantly increasing its size, training for size can increase muscle volume without necessarily improving strength. Lifting with high repetitions can increase the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy of a muscle by increasing the amount of fluid in the sarcoplasm of muscle cells. However, using a heavy weight for fewer repetitions results in myofibrillar hypertrophy by increasing the thickness of individual muscle fibers. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases the size of a muscle, while myofibrillar hypertrophy results in thicker muscle fibers capable of generating higher levels of force.

If you are looking for a way to supercharge your clients’ workouts or help move past them past a plateau, consider using a weight heavy enough to limit them to five repetitions or less.* Here are seven benefits of how using heavy resistance can maximize the results from your fitness program.

  1. Training for muscle strength is different than training for muscle size. A six- to 10-week strength-focused mesocycle of heavy resistance and low reps followed by a six- to 10-week hypertrophy (bodybuilder) mesocycle of moderate weight for higher rep ranges can produce significant gains in both size and strength.
  2. Using heavy weights increases intramuscular coordination, the number of type II motor units and the amount of muscle fibers engaged within a specific muscle. Have you ever felt your muscles shaking while lifting heavy weights? This is because you are recruiting and activating the larger type II muscle fibers, which are only stimulated to work when a muscle is challenged with heavy resistance or working to fatigue.
  3. Using maximal loads for compound (multi-joint) movements like the deadlift, squat-to-shoulder press, bent-over row or chest press can improve intermuscular coordination, which is the ability of many muscles to work together to generate and control high levels of force through multiple joints.
  4. Lifting heavy weights elevates levels of anabolic hormones—specifically testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)—which are used to repair muscle fibers damaged during exercise. This helps the muscle fibers to become thicker and capable of generating higher levels of force.
  5. Lifting heavy weights increases production of the hormone IGF-1. This hormone is related to the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a neurotransmitter responsible for stimulating the growth of new neural pathways in the brain along with enhancing communication between existing pathways. In short, lifting heavy could make you smarter by enhancing cognitive function.
  6. Training with heavy weights helps you to improve your self-confidence. Knowing that you can lift heavy stuff gives you the confidence that you can handle common challenges, such as a putting a bag in the overhead bin on an airplane or carrying a heavy piece of furniture while reorganizing a room or helping a friend move.
  7. Strength training with heavy weights improves muscle definition. Muscle definition occurs as the result of muscles remaining in a state of semi-contraction and heavy strength training recruits the larger type II muscle fibers responsible for a muscle’s appearance.

*WARNING: Using heavier weights requires using machines or a spotter to maximize safety. In addition, when lifting with maximal loads, it’s important to include longer rest periods of at least two to three minutes to allow muscles to properly recover before going back to work.

All exercise provides general health benefits, but resistance training with heavy weights is one of the quickest ways to achieve the benefits identified above. Keep in mind that according to the general adaptation syndrome, the body adapts to an exercise stimulus after a period of 12 to 14 weeks. Once your client starts training with maximal weights, he or she will experience serious gains. After three or four months, however, you will need to change your client’s training routine to provide a new stimulus to his or her body.

Catherine again.  Did you notice in example #1 that higher reps with moderate weight causes hypertrophy?  That’s another way of saying that doing higher reps with moderate weight increases size.  When you train with me, I promise to adjust your weight and rep ranges to suit your goals.  It’s your training session, so you get to decide.  Of course, if you’re going to lift you must use proper form.  Come to class at the Dome or request an appointment with me by e-mailing:

Catherine@sugarfreedom.com  One on one training can be costly, but I can design a program that will allow you to train at your gym, or at home, with form checks from me.  I’m ready to help you get the benefits of lifting. (Check the class schedule if you are near Sonora, CA.)

Learn to Lift for Life.

 

Train With Catherine: Homework

Here is the training and warmup from 1/11/18

Homework For Train With Catherine: 1/11/18

Prisoner Squat 10

Arm Crosses 10

Push Up 8

Duck Unders: 6 per side

Leg Swing 10/side

Spiderman Climb: 8/side

Repeat one time

Training:

Supported Split Squat: 8/side

Mountain Climber: (Slow and controlled with excellent form) 10/side

KB Swings: 20

Do 3 rounds

Glute Raise 10

McGill Sit Ups: 8/side

KB Swings: 20

Do 3 Rounds

Here is the training and homework for the week of 1/8/18

Bodyweight Warm-Up

Total Body Extensions: 10

Prisoner Squats: 10

Close Grip Push Ups: 8

Duck Unders: 6/side

Spiderman Climb: 8/side

Leg Swing: 10/side

Rest 30 seconds and repeat.

Resistance: Goblet Squat: 10 reps

Tricep Kickbacks: 10 reps

Three Rounds Total

Split Squat: 8/side

Pushup: 8

Three Rounds Total

Are You Willing To Train?

 

The Truth About Big Time- Long Term Weight Loss

I am a member of the .01 percent.  That means that I have achieved long term- big time weight loss. My top non-pregnancy weight was 185 pounds, and I have been maintaining my weight at within 5 pounds of 120 ever since 2009.

I became a Certified Personal Trainer in 2012, and I completed my Fitness Nutrition Certification from the American Council on Exercise in 2015, in order to deliver my solution to overweight and obesity on a professional level.

There have been many triumphs in my career, including being named certified Turbulence Trainer of the Year in 2013.  Hundreds of my clients and Sugar Freedom readers have achieved permanent fat loss with my programs, and many of them have gone on to become fitness professional themselves.

I still hope to start a movement in nutrition and fitness that acknowledges the power of simple eating and weight lifting for women.  I know from personal and professional experience that the most effective physical transformation programs can be simplified down to these elements: Nutrition, training, and recovery.  More specifically, the nutrition consists of the appropriate amounts of protein, fat, and vegetables. The training consists of the appropriate amounts of weight lifting, flexibility, and balance practice, done with the best possible form.

Supplements, shakes, pills, and odd equipment are simply not required.  What is required is the acceptance of the fact that powerful effort is needed to overcome overweight and obesity.  Some of the most entertaining and novel forms of exercise, which attract eager participants, may literally burn muscle and increase appetite in formerly obese individuals like me and many of my clients.

Simplicity and discipline are required in the kitchen, and excellent form with wise progression are required in the gym.  Many of the women I know look for fun and friendship in their fitness practice. If the classes they take get results I am happy for them, and a little bit envious to tell the truth.  As a working actor, dancer, and choreographer however, the condition of my body is an essential component of my ability to work.  I must lift weights with the best form I can achieve, practice dance technique with precision and dedication, and eat simple nutritious food in order to be able to work.

As I prepare my training and nutrition programs for 2018, I am re-dedicating myself to Ketogenic nutrition, weight lifting, and dance technique.  If you wish to train with me in 2018, now is the time to e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com with a description of your goals.

For now, I am off to the gym, and I will be creating a series of photos and videos that demonstrate my training techniques.

This is my truth when it comes to losing more than 60 pounds and keeping it off:

Eliminate sugar, grains, and processed oils from your food plan.

Lift weights with excellent form, and rest as soon as this level of form is lost.

Practice legitimate dance technique for grace, line, and to preserve femininity.

It really is this simple.  The question is, are you willing to trade variety in your food and fun in your fitness for the for the body you need to fulfill your potential?

All the Best,

Catherine Best Gordon.