Weightlifting & Exercise/Exercises and toning.

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QUESTION: Hi! Thank you So much for listening to my question. I was wondering if you can guide me any quick way to lose inches on the outside of my thighs. I currently weigh 126 pounds. I just had a baby 5 months ago and gained 29 lbs total Throughout that pregnancy. I already have lost all of my pregnancy weight however I'm noticing that even though I'm back in my size 2 pants they are a little bit snug on the outside of my thighs and I refuse to wear them. I was back to running three weeks after having my baby and I'm up to running about 18 miles a week now. I would like to do more but I don't have the time because I also have a 2 year old and life's a circus. After I had my first son I was able to go back to running and had a lot more time to work out. Prior to having my son I did kenpo four times a week for almost 5 years and I was able to return. But now after my second baby I don't have the time to go back. I believe that returning to kenpo after my first child is what got me in such awesome shape again so quickly and it kills me I can't go back now. Kenpo has done so much more then tone me. I signed up originally for complete other reasons and getting in shape just was a wonderful addition. I also use to swim which i cant do anymore either. Anyways so I guess my question is what can I do to quickly lose on the outside of my thighs. I eat heathy and don't really touch junk food. I'm careful about what I eat bc of other issues I had. I have really low self esteem so I'm trying to do whatever it takes to feel back to where I'm happy. Any insight would be awesome. Thank you so much for your time! If you have any questions please ask. Oh! I also have very limited machines. The only access I have are treadmills. Back wheel elliptical and free weights. Thanks so much !! Ill do anything !  

Jenn

ANSWER: Jenn,

Congratulations on the birth of your child. Ok the first thing I would say is definitely keep doing what you are doing but throw some resistance/weight training in. Often when women have baby's they don't return to their previous figure, but that all depends on your age, metabolism, genetics and how hard you train. You run 18 miles a week, you're a machine LOL. Good for you. And Kenpo as all punching/kicking arts (I am a registered expert under martial arts on here as well but strangely nobody has thrown me any questions)are great for all around conditioning. Now, what we need to do is make your body burn like a furnace, and blast those calories away. The only way to go above-and-beyond is by incorporating large muscle activation. So what does that mean? Primarily we want to get your glutes,quads,hamstrings,lats and chest working big time. Not on machines preferably but by doing squats and lunges with dumbbells or some sort of weight in your hand. If you can do some pull-ups and push-ups (you can do them on your knees if you don't have the upper body strength to do them the traditional way)and bench presses. I don't know if you have access to a gym (perhaps Santa may bring you membership)and you indicated you had minimal gear but you can do a lot with a little. Start running hills if there is a park around or some small mountains. Maybe put your children in a carriage and or on your back in a baby back-pack and run or push the carriage up the street. Circuit training in one form or another is perfect because all the major muscles get utilized with minimal rest in between. That is how you burn the most calories. When you run also mix in bouts of sprinting. Say every other telephone pole you come to, run all out, then slow down to a jog for a pole or two. Then sprint again for another pole or two and work you way up. If you do threes things I think you will start seeing some great changes. Thank you for your question and please be sure to ask me any other questions or concerns that may arise. Jenn I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Greg

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you SO much for your answer. I couldn't be happier with it. I am going to do everything you said. I actually have a treadmill and an elliptical at work w/ dumbells and an decline bench. I had a gym membership for 10 years but I just discontinued it because I hadn't gone in over a year and it was a waste of money but I regret it now because w/ it being cold and if I don't get the chance to run at work then I'm stuck running in the cold (I'm from chicago) or doing something other then running. Running seems to be the only thing that mentally satisfies me when it comes to whether or not I feel like i'm working out enough. Even though i know i need to weight train it is VERY hard for me to take the day off. When I run now I try to bump the treadmill up .2 every minute until I hit 10 minutes and then I start over again for another ten and so on. Right now I am running 5 miles in 46 minutes on a treadmill. Certainly not my best pace but I try and remind myself I just started running 4.5 months ago. Although I don't use having a baby as an excuse. I definitely can do normal push ups and will start those immediately. My legs are the hardest part to lose inches in. I think I said in my last message, even though I'm back in a size 2 pants I still feel heavy and thicker then normal. Its weird because you would think it would be my stomach w/ being just pregnant but that's totally back to how it was prior to having the baby. Flat. Its my legs and my metabolism that I get so frustarted with!

I do have a strange question. If I do legs one day, am I likely to weigh more the next morning? And if so, will that usually go away after a few days?

What I miss the most is Kenpo. As you obviously know it does so much more for you then any other workout there is. It was my passion once I began. I have been an athlete my entire life, playing division I softball, but now that Im older i really only have simple working out as my escape. Kenpo gave me so much. The thrill and high of strikes and sparing and drills was like no other. BUT with that said I have to accept the fact I can't go back right now and be okay with that. Since stopping I have lost some confidence and feel really vulnerable again and it is messing with my head. I try and tell myself just run longer and harder and it'll help but nothing helped like Kenpo.

I'm going to write down the things you said and do them starting today. I will set the treadmill at an incline and run some hills as well as mixing up the speeds. I pray that this will all help w/ burning the calories. I should probably be honest with you and let you know that i have had issues w/ obsession over my weight etc so I'm trying to continue to do this in a healthy way but it is really hard.

Thank you for your response. I appreciate it like you have no idea!!!

ANSWER: Jenn,

So glad you are enthralled with he advice I sincerely think you will start seeing improvements. First off I am not sure what you meant as far as wanting to start weight training but could not take the day off. However getting creative with the weights you have is fine. Also you can pick-up kettle bells (those canon ball looking things with handles) at places such as MVP sports as well as I assume most retail places that sells workout equipment. You can view youtube video's and or purchase a book/DVD on different exercises you can do to hit all your muscles. This is a great alternative to traditional weights. As for your question as to whether doing legs one day will make you heavier the next. No. Over time yes as muscle is more dense than fat, so even though you may be trimmer, more ripped and look better, the scale will say you are heavier. Words of advice, throw the scale away. They do not measure what you are, they measure how much you are. If you are heavier one day than the previous after having trained, it is probably food still in your stomach that has not digested yet. Be sure to weigh your self the same time of day, on the same scale to get a more accurate picture (still I say away with the scale) and on an empty stomach and bladder.
So Jenn I was thinking if you are self conscious about not being back in karate why don't you either sign back up or if you can't for whatever reason(s) start practicing what you learned previously. You can watch youtube video's and buy entire Kenpo programs on DVD and train alone or with someone right in your living room or wherever. Their is a company called "Panther" that produces martial arts videos as well as Black belt Magazine (go to Blackbeltmag.com and you can watch a lot of free stuff or purchase from them as well). If you love it, then why are you not doing it right? It is good, especially in this day and age to be up on self-defense, especially in a place like Chicago.
In closing I appreciate your full disclosure to me regarding your insecurity with working out and how you look. Keep doing what you were doing as well as adding what we have discussed and you will fine. I believe most of your insecurity is actually in you own head. Sort of like when we hear a recording of our own voice, or see a picture of our selves and think "I sound/look like that, are you kidding me" yet has anyone ever said "Jenn, you talk/look strange." Same idea. I do not know you but I get a sincere feeling you are a lovely young woman, a great mother and outstanding wife. In the end that is what really matters and what you should be paying attention to. Now that you have achieved that, go burn some calories.
I hope this helps, good luck and thanks for the follow up.

Greg

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello! I promise this is my last follow up! Thank you again for your answers. I'm gonna pick up some videos and you tube some stuff. I hear you completely about looking Better but weighing more bc the whole muscle weighs more then fat but that's my problem. I want the scale to say a certain amount and not a lb more no matter what I look like. It totally goes against what's realistic I know but that's my issue. I'm currently 126 and I want to be 122 at MOST. I'm 5,4 so I feel like that's an ok weight. I was 118 the year before I had my first son but I was able to bike run swim 5x a week back then on top of kenpo 4x a week. It was awesome ! But then I had kids. I know once my 5 mos old gets older and easier to manage w my 2 yr old ill have better flexability but its so hard now. I work out now on my lunch instead of taking one. When I get a chance to take a break at work I bolt to the fitness room, workout as hard I can for 45 min w/ what they have then bolt back to work. Not ideal but its what I have for now. But I'm gonna start videos on the wknds too.

I don't do kenpo to be honest bc of not having time right now and money. It's so expensive and w just having a second we had to cut back and that was the first to go ESP since it was close to 200 a mos. that's a lot for us at this time. Hopefully eventually I can return tho. I was a green belt very close to testing for brown. Makes me sad to think about how close I was. I stopped bc I got pregnant again. No other reason. It's funny you say self defense is good to keep up on ESP in Chicago. You couldn't be more right. That's actually why I joined in the first place. I was raped in hs when i was 17 back in 1997 so i wanted to learn how to protect myself. However it happened again in a stairwell at a bar down town by a bar back in 2009. It was completely random and took me so off guard and the disappointing part is having done kenpo for 4 years already i froze. I don't know what happened and trust me that haunts me every day. That's part of the reason I want to return so bad because i blew it when i had the chance to protet myself while having the knowledge. I had to take a break immediately after because it was just to much to do attacks in class after what happened. So. That's something I have to try and learn to accept. I knew the stuff. But didn't use it. I don't know ... Doesn't make sense. But that's what happened w that.

So anyway thank you for taking the time to help me get all this back on track and having the patience to answer in so much detail. Thank you for such kind words !! It's awesome to hear and definitely helps encourage me to keep going! Its not easy w two but i dont use it as an excuse thats for sure ! I'm prob one of the most determined people you'll meet when it comes to getting in shape. Hell I even have dedication and desire tattood on the inside of my foot. Ill never stop.

Thank you again for your help! As always any input is so appreciated. Sorry to bother so much w so much follow up.

Answer
Hi Jenn,

You are not bothering me, that is why I am on here to help others as I am able. First off you are only 4 lbs. or so away from your goal weight so I don't see your concern. You will get there I firmly believe that. I have no doubts that you have incredible drive and determination, you maybe should think about becoming a life coach on here as you too could help people overcome the same types of hardships you had to endure. Ok so you did not like what I had to say about what the scale says and muscle vs. fat disparity. Know what? I knew you wouldn't. Back when I used to work in a gym and had female clients or was doing new member orientation, women would always bring up the "I don't want to get bulky" complaint. I used to say "you should be so lucky" facetiously of course. Us men with all our testosterone (which obviously has to do with muscle size/strength) have to lift unbelievable amounts of weight, many times, continuously, to get huge. And these women think they are going to do a few sets of pull-downs or Nautilus bench-presses, and all of a sudden they're going to block out the sun when they walk outside. Not going to happen. So in your case you have to be careful of over training and exercise addiction. These are very real issues and can have adverse effects on your body. One of them being that you will have a problem meeting your goal weight. Be sure to give your body adequate rest. Every maybe couple weeks or so, take a few days off from exercising. Bodybuilders will at times take a week off from working out. That is because your body learns to adapt to stresses and stops giving the desired results. So you have to trick it into doing something different. That is why you should change up your exercise routine every month or so by altering the weight, reps, sets and/or frequency of training.
Jenn you are so right that martial arts is crazy expensive. I remember when I started back in 1980 or there abouts, it was $25-$30 a month. Now its like another car payment or 1/3 a months rent. I was so sorry to hear about the attacks you had endured and my heart goes out to you as well as anyone who has been that unfortunate to experience something as horrific as that. But good for you for not just rolling over, but constantly forging ahead. You are such a role model that I too get inspired just hearing from you. Having said that, Kenpo is a great self-defense method, but regardless of whatever arts you learn or whatever belt rank you attain, don't delude your self into thinking "If only I was a black belt that would never have happened to me." Martial arts are often marketed in such a way as that you will become invincible if you learn this or that, but in reality most attackers are violent scum-bags that know they can overpower someone and that is who they seek out. But unless you get a good shot to a vital spot, most women, 8th degree black belt or white belt, would fair the same way. The male body is just biologically stronger and faster due to the types of muscle fibers and so-forth, that the odds are greatly stacked against women in a physical confrontation. I still recommend that women learn martial arts/self-defense as its may buy you time until help arrives or maybe you can gouge an eye and break away. I just hope you are not carrying the burden of "if only I had..." around with you. But think back to when those events happened and think what were you doing when this happened? Were you walking down an unlit area, talking on a cell-phone, fidgeting for keys? My point is as they always say, awareness is the best defense. Always watch your surroundings? Is that person by the car really talking to someone on the phone? Is that persons car really broken down? Does someone really need how to find directions when they ask you? Don't get paranoid, just analyze every situation and listen to you gut.
Sorry to go off on a tangent, just ideas I wanted to share with you. I am glad I can be of assistance and as always will do what I can to help you.

God Bless and stay well,

Greg

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Greg Hoppe

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I can answer questions on proper exercise technique, starting as well as growing in attaining your fitness goals and questions regrading how the human body works from an exercise physiology standpoint. I can assist with any questions regarding anatomy & physiology, stretching and rehabilitation. I am also extremely well versed and experienced in martial arts, self-defense and massage therapy.

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I have a B.S in Physical Education and a Black Belt in an eclectic martial art. I am also a certified Fitness Therapist through ISSA and a massage therapist. I can assist with questions regarding hiring a health and wellness professional as well as growing and succeeding in the field for those already working in it.

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ISSA, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

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B.S. in Physical education, Black Belt, ISSA certfified Fitness Therapist.

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