We'll hit two questions this week since the first one is a pretty quick answer.
I need to lose weight and start working out, but don't want to give up the booze. Is that even possible?
It depends how much you drink. If your a raging alcoholic drinking a 6 pack per day then probably not. If you partake in some light drinking on the weekends you can lose weight, as long as you follow your kick-butt workout plan the rest of the week.
[This should go without saying, but never attempt to work out after drinking alcohol. It can lead to serious injury.]
Hi David! I enjoy doing cardio on the machines at my gym, and am less than enthusiastic about hitting the weights. Is doing cardio enough to help trim down?
Cardio can burn both fat AND muscle. Do at least 20 minutes of weight training 3x per week to maintain muscle mass, which will help your metabolism burn fat fast and keep you looking lean and fit. This workout should be fast paced (with just a little rest between sets) and make you sweat.
Perhaps the problem is you just have not found a weight workout you like! Weight training can be boring if you are doing a boring workout that why on my sites and in my DVDs i give you a variety of programs and exercises.
Thanks for your questions -- please keep them coming!
When people think of losing weight, they think about changing their eating habits and not always about increasing their physical activity. Why is just focusing on eating habits a bad idea, and how can people easily start including more physical activity in their lives?
There have been many studies where they took three groups of people: A diet only group, diet and exercise group, and an exercise only group. The exercise groups always came out ahead in the long run (about one year). The diet group sometimes is ahead in the first few months but they gain it back after that.
The fact is, if you just plan on losing fat without exercise you're wasting your time. You would be better off focusing on exercise and not worry about your diet because 9 out of 10 times once you start exercising regularly your diet will naturally improve.
There are many reasons for this, but the best way to explain it is our bodies our meant to be active and to survive. When you exercise your body is forced to maintain or increase your muscle and still burn fat for energy. If you just cut calories your body burn fats for energy, and burns muscle to survive. This occurs because muscle burns more calories so the less you have the longer you can go without food. And that's why you must be active!
Here's a fun quote from the hilarious Mel Brooks I found, concerning activity and life:
"If you're alive you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful, and lively."
Thanks for writing -- please keep the great questions coming!
Hi, David! New Years is the time when everyone seems to set new fitness goals for themselves. How do you set your personal goals? Do you track them somehow?
I tend not to set goals like other people do. I get an idea or thought in my head, and it just stays on my mind until I do it. If I have a goal to gain ten pounds of muscle and make my squats 50 lbs stronger, I just stay focused and determined -- never quitting until I achieve that goal.
Like I have said before, you have to have a strong reason to achieve that goal. Right now I don't have any reason to gain 10lbs... but let's say I got offered and very important modeling gig that needed me to be 10lbs heavier. I can promise you that I will workout hard (and eat lots of beef) until I've gained those ten pounds.
That's what works for me. For you, writing you goals or having visual inspiration to look at may work. The main thing is you have to find a very strong motivation factor.
Example: Why do you want to exercise? To look good. Why? Because I want to look better. Why? Because if I look better I'll get more dates, have more confidence which will help me succeed on the job, etc.
"Looking better" is not a good enough factor but the reasons for why you want to look better are, so think of those. Find many reasons that will consume you and keep your "passion" to exercise going strong.
New Column! In what can only described as a shallow ploy to display more of his photographs, David Rich will be answering YOUR fitness questions here on most Thursdays. If you have a question you'd like answered, send it to him!
I know that when it's dark and gloomy out in the winter, I have SUCH a hard time convincing myself to go to the gym -- especially when I've just gotten home from work and it's already dark out! How can I combat the Winter Blues and stay motivated when I just want to hibernate??
Here in Southern California we don't get all that snow but when it gets around 40 degrees I'm freezing my butt off, I could only imagine how hard it would be for most people who live in snowy places.
Few solutions to this problem:
1. Make sure your health club is on your way home from work -- if you stop at home you are not going to want to leave.
2. Make sure your motivational factors are greater then the obstacles you must overcome and constantly remind yourself of those motivational factors. For myself, when I don't feel like training, I just remind myself of my next video or modeling shoot and how I have to be in great shape or people won't take me serious. You may not make workout videos but you do go to the beach, lake, or pool come summer time. Even though the summer may be 5 months away what you do now will determine how you look then. Do you want to be seen with a flabby belly and weak chest?
You can also think of some of the problems or weak points in your life then visualize how being fit will solve them. Maybe you feel lonely during the holidays. Don't you think that have a great body will attract a significant other into you life more easily? Maybe you feel stressed and overwhelmed? Do you realize that exercise reduces stress and is a natural anti-depressant? Theirs a hundred more reasons but that should get you started.
3. Another solution is to not go to the gym during these cold months. Over the last few years home workouts have become more and more popular. That's why in my new DVD training system I've included three very effective and fun home workouts. Just put the DVD in as soon as you get home and I will walk you though the workouts and do my best to keep you motivated.