My Training Style
A common question I am frequently asked is, “Susan, how do you train yourself?”
In one simple word; cross-training.
No, not cross fit, lol. I’m referring to variety; using different equipment and changing it up frequently. This accomplishes 3 major things:
- It keeps your muscles guessing and stimulates them in different ways to help avoid frustrating plateaus
- It helps to offset injuries. - Repetitive stress can hammer your joints and over time, cause joint pain, injury and trauma, as a result.
- It keeps thing fun! - Boredom and not enjoying your training can be the huge ‘make it or break it’ for many people. Using different modalities and training principles not only stimulates your body, but also your mind.
How I Train - "She Must Be a Bodybuilder"
I understand why some people reach for that label first, and I know it is meant as a compliment, or perhaps they just don’t know any other term to use. They see a woman with muscle and that is often the default language blurted out as opposed to: she has a gymnast’s or athlete’s physique.
If “bodybuilding” had stayed in the earlier era of the term, I may not mind the association as much as I do now, when I have seen women on stage larger than men, which is not a natural look. That is a stereotype attached to the term “female bodybuilder” today that I very much distance myself from.
For me, a feminine natural look is what I have always been about. Of course everyone can do as they please, but I have never even seen what a steroid looks like, but I have seen what they do to women who take them!😱 Of course the risks of taking them are well documented, so drugs or PED’s (Performance Enhancing Drugs) of any kind are a stern non-negotiable “no” for me.
Yes, I do train with weights, but I don’t consider myself a bodybuilder however, I did go through a phase in my early years where lifting weights was what I predominantly did for training.
My exercise routine encompasses much more than just lifting weights, but RESISTANCE TRAINING continues to be an integral part of my exercise regime. Although I’m not into any one sport per se, I have always had a love for gymnastics and have worked on flexibility since my young teen years, although I was never fortunate enough to be involved in any formal gymnastics training. I cross train frequently to not only avoid injuries, but to also work around current injuries as well as avoid further overuse injuries. I am definitely a passionate fitness enthusiast, open to trying new activities.
I also incorporate many other different elements of the following to avoid stagnation, continue to see progress, add challenge and change which of course, helps keep things fun & fresh is and crucial for progress and avoiding plateaus:
- Weights and body weight training
- Circuit training
- Foam roller (not just stretching! - see my Fab Foam Roller workouts)
- The Wall
- Stability ball
- Bosu ball
- Medicine Ball
- Water training (along with some swimming as well)
- Outdoor training - bleachers, sprint training, stairs, etc.
- Resistance bands
- Wall training
- TRX bands
- Stair master
FOR THE RECORD...
You’ve likely seen a lot of fit looking pics of me and many people assume it’s genetics (my two sisters are not into fitness at all and are nothing like me, btw) or it just ‘happens’ so to speak, or it’s a result of drugs… ALL UNTRUE! I actually never started drinking coffee until after I had my kids; that’s how opposed to drugs and stimulants I am, lol. Yes, I love my coffee today, that’s for sure and wouldn’t want to give it up. My point is that I never took any shortcuts and have had to fight through a lot of 'stuff'; fears, insecurities, depression, I had a colicky son, my daughter never slept and was ultra alert, I had little support, a divorce, full time job… Yes, life can get extremely challenging and messy at times; all this to say if I can make it work, so can you!
Make fitness 'fit' into your lifestyle and practice consistency. If you make it a habit to schedule training in advance, your chances of success will skyrocket. Preplan your workouts and prioritize them by scheduling your day around it in order to get it done! Many choose first thing in the morning to ensure you follow through (avoid pushing snooze in this scenario) and disruptions don't stand a chance!