0:00:03.3 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 96 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm gonna talk all about programming your workouts. I get asked a lot, "How do you put together a workout? Can I put together my own workouts? If I do, how do I do that? What do I need to consider?" So we're gonna chat through all of that today. Let's go.
0:00:25.9 Kim Schlag: Hello, how are you? Coming to you today, it's a Thursday. I've worked out, I've gone for a walk in the beautiful spring air, I've played with my new puppy. I don't know if you've seen her yet. If you haven't, you have to check out my Instagram and you'll see my cute new Lily May. She is a mini goldendoodle. She has been with us for a week and two days now. Wow, do I feel like a newbie? I do not know what I'm doing. We do not know what we are doing with this dog. We are sure trying our best. She's 11 weeks old, super duper cute, really smart.
0:01:05.4 Kim Schlag: She gets out of every kind of baby gate situation we've tried arranging, so either she has to be in her crate, or our eyes have to be fixed on her every second because she just... [chuckle] If she gets left in the living room and somebody walks next door to the kitchen, she's just gonna run. My husband had her in this cute little pen we have in the living room and ran upstairs... I don't know, he went to get something, his phone, I think he forgot his phone... And he came down the steps and there she was in our front hallway, which is nowhere near our living room. So she's smart, and we're gonna try and learn to be smarter. Going to a trainer today. First lesson with Lily May. So that's what's new with me. Hope things are well in your neck of the woods.
0:01:49.3 Kim Schlag: So today, let's talk about programming your workouts. Should you even be writing your own training programs? It's a really good question, and the answer is, it depends, just like with many things. If you love learning about programming, and you want to read about programming, and study about programming, and practice and try different things to learn more about programming, sure. It's a great way to learn. Program for yourself, read other people's programs, and try things, and see what questions come up. It's a fantastic way to learn how to program.
0:02:20.2 Kim Schlag: If you just want some results, you wanna get stronger, you wanna build muscle, you wanna improve your overall fitness level, you wanna lose fat, then no. Writing your own workouts is not the best way to go. It's like fixing your own car. Could you do it? Sure. I'm sure I could fix my own car. I have zero idea how to do that, kind of like with my new puppy. I have zero idea what I'm doing. I'm sure I can be an expert at training this puppy soon. I'm sure if I wanted to, I could become an expert on fixing my minivan. Should I do that? Probably not. It's not super interesting to me. I wanna have a great minivan to drive... Well, I don't really want a minivan, but it's what I have... But to do it right, you're gonna need to spend a lot of time learning. Just like if you wanna put a new engine in your car, you're gonna have to study a lot. You're gonna be reading books, and talking to mechanics, and watching YouTube, and trying and failing and messing up. Is that what you wanna do? Do you wanna spend your time doing that, or do you just wanna pay a good mechanic, so they fix your engine and you just get to drive the minivan?
0:03:24.0 Kim Schlag: That's what I would say. Same thing here. I would say most of you should be following a training program, not designing your own, but it can help a lot to understand more about what goes into designing a training program. So whichever camp you fall into, whether you really should be a person who's following another training program, or whether you want to give a go at writing your own, I think today's podcast episode will be interesting to you. And if you do wanna follow a training plan written by someone else, you don't have to spend a lot of money. You can. You could hire a coach. I'm accepting applicants. I have a really long wait list, but you could certainly get on the list and I will program for you, but it doesn't have to be expensive.
0:04:04.9 Kim Schlag: There are free programs out there that are good. There are low-cost programs out there, monthly memberships, but following a dedicated training program is going to get you really good results versus just trying a little of this and a little of that, and making up stuff. So whichever way you go, you want to have a training program that involves progression, that involves you doing the same thing week after week, minimum four weeks. You should be doing the same workouts, four to six to eight, you could go longer, but probably somewhere four, six, eight weeks, doing the same training programs. Each Monday, you do the same program, or each first day of your training week, you do the first... You do that same training program for a minimum of four weeks. So that's really important, don't just go grabbing a swipe workout you find on Instagram and then getting another one for the next week. It's not gonna give your body the stimulus it needs to change.
0:05:00.1 Kim Schlag: Alright, so let's hop into this. Step one. What do you need to do if you're gonna write your own training program? Step one is to get clear on your goal, because the goal determines the training. Do you wanna run your first 5K? Do you wanna have defined arms? Do you wanna do a pull up? Do you wanna lose weight? Do you wanna get super strong? Now, look, I don't program for running at all. I do support runners with strength training programming. My discussion today is going to be around specifically strength training, getting strength, gaining muscle, general fitness and fat loss. One super important point about that last one, about fat loss, fat loss is going to be mostly nutrition, mostly nutrition. So whatever your training, you need to be dialing in your nutrition, and I have a ton of podcasts about nutrition. We talk nutrition here a lot. Alright, so you're gonna figure out your goal.
0:05:52.0 Kim Schlag: Step two. So as I said, we're not having as a goal with the rest of the discussion here, we're not having as a goal like, "I wanna run a 5K," or "I want to learn to climb a mountain like we're talking specifically, strength, muscle building, general fitness, fat loss here today. So next we're gonna figure out your training frequency, most of my clients train either three or four days, I do have a few who train two, you could also train five or six days. You have to have rest days, minimum one rest day. Training every single day isn't gonna get you better results, it's actually gonna get you worse results, and more days in a week training is not better than fewer days. What is best is to choose a training frequency that is going to work in your life. So if you know that you can commit to three, but in your mind, it would be better to commit to four, and so you program for four, but really you only do it three times, you're not getting as effective a workout in across that week as if you had just programmed for three workouts, right? So if you program all the work to take place on three days, you're gonna get all the work done, whereas if you program for all the work to take place over four days and you routinely skip one of those four days, you're not getting all the work out. So more is not better.
0:07:15.1 Kim Schlag: Next step, we're gonna have you decide your workout split. So if you've decided you're gonna train two days per week, it's obvious what your training split is going to be, and that is you're going to do two full body days. Okay? Two full body days. Give me just a second. I hope I just didn't have a feeling that... No, for a second, I was worried I wasn't recording, but I am. Okay, so that's two days full body. If you choose to train three days per week, there are a couple of good options, I'm gonna give you two here. My favorite is the upper body, lower body, full body split, so it's just what it sounds like. One day you'll train, I usually start with lower body, so first training day of the week, we have you do lower body, second training day of the week we have you do upper body, and then the third day the week we have you do full body. Another really good option is to have three days across the week that are all full body, also a really, really good option. I tend to go for the upper, lower, full just so there's more recovery time between the lower and the full, so I put lower first then upper then full, so that people who...
0:08:22.5 Kim Schlag: They get pretty sore doing lunges and squats and things have some more time before they get back to doing something like that again on their full body day versus having maybe just one day in between training those same movements, but there's nothing wrong with that. Full, full, full is a great training split. If you've chosen four days a week to be your training frequency, some options for you, my favorite option would be the upper, lower, upper, lower split. It's a really great split, so you train upper body twice, you train lower body twice. If you wanted to train five or six days, which again, I'm just gonna keep saying this, 'cause everybody seems to think more days is better, it's not necessarily better, but if you are gonna train five or six days, a couple of options, you could have that same basic four-day split I just told you, upper, lower, upper, lower, and then have a fifth day, which is a specialization day, so it could be whatever you wanna work on. So if you wanna work on building your glutes, you wanna work on building your shoulders, you wanna work on your triceps, or your biceps, whatever it is, you could have one day that's a specialization day.
0:09:26.2 Kim Schlag: I've had a client with this training split, they did upper, lower, upper, lower, and they had a chin-up specialization day to get more practice in undoing their chin ups. You could also, with five or six days do a push, pull, leg day, and you rotate through those, so push day, pull day, legs day, push day, pull day, leg day. If you are a beginner, if you're like, "I have not even been training very long," or if you've just been training very sporadically, don't go for five or six days. You don't need that. Go for three or four days if you are a relative beginner or even an early intermediate go for three or four days. Alright, our next step is going to be for to have you consider the total volume. Volume is the amount of work being done, okay. So it is a key factor in the effectiveness of your workouts, if you have too little volume, you're not gonna have the stimulus you need for change, change being building muscle. If you have too much volume, you will not be able to recover appropriately, and that is going to inhibit your results. It can even be dangerous when we take it to an extreme.
0:10:43.5 Kim Schlag: So extreme training volume is not your friend and not getting enough volume is not your friend. So how much volume should you be doing? A good rule of thumb, a nice sweet spot is 10 to 21 effective sets, so we don't want just mean, when I say effective sets, what I mean is to bring enough intensity, so if the set is supposed to have 10 reps, rep 10 should feel like I can't do more than one or two, if you just hit rep 10 and stop even though you could do 14, that's not an effective set, so we want 10 to 21 effective sets per muscle per week. Okay. Do you want me to say that again? 10 to 21 effective sets per muscle per week. If you are a beginner, you can skew towards the low end of that, and if you are a more intermediate you can go higher. When you're a beginner, any stimulus is going to be enough to cause adaptation, and so if you're doing 10 sets per muscle per week great, great. So there you go with the volume, next step, you're gonna think about what exercises to do. I wonder if you were like, "Wait a minute. We have not even... We are on step five and we haven't even talked about names of exercises yet?"
0:11:56.5 Kim Schlag: It's 'cause there's a lot that goes into this and we're just barely touching... I'm just barely scratching the surface of each of these topics, we could go on and on and do a full episode on each of these topics. I'm just giving you a broad overview here. So first time we're even talking about which specific exercises should you do, we're already at step five. So which specific exercises should you do? You should across your training week each week have some variation of a squat, so we're talking... It could be a goblet squat, it could be a barbell back squat, it could be a front squat, it could be a Bulgarian split squat.
0:12:29.5 Kim Schlag: Some variation of a lunge, and that's a squat pattern, so we'll put that with the squat patterns, so it could be a static lunge, a reverse lunge, a forward lunge, a walking lunge, any kind of lunge. Okay, so you wanna get those varieties in there. You wanna get a some variety of a hip hinge, so those would be your deadlifting movements and your pull through movement. So Romanian deadlift, kettlebell deadlift, conventional barbell deadlift, sumo barbell deadlift. Also, hip hinging would be, like I said, like a cable pull through. You wanna have an upper body vertical push, so an upper body push that's going vertical, all of a sudden I forgot what vertical meant.
0:13:11.5 Kim Schlag: I was like, "Wait. Which is vertical?" So we're talking things like overhead presses, military presses with a barbell, any kind of pressing movement, so vertical push, and then you wanna have an upper body horizontal push, so we're talking bench press, dumbbell chest press. You wanna have those in there, you wanna have an upper body vertical pull, so that could be a pull up, it could be a chin up, it could be a lat pulldown, and then you wanna have an upper body horizontal pull, so that could be a dumbbell row, a bent over barbell row, a batwing row. So you wanna have those variations in there, did I get them all?
0:14:00.7 Kim Schlag: Core, you wanna have some core in there. Now, a lot of these exercises I've just named, you're gonna use some core, but that doesn't mean you don't have to actually program some core as well, it doesn't need to be a ton. It should follow the same guidelines. So doing 10 sets of core is plenty. You do not need an entire workout day dedicated to your abs, you don't... Alright, that literally is as far as exercises, do you want to take into consideration of where you're at in your ability, you don't need to have a barbell back squat on your training plan, you can just as well do a goblet squat and get a good training effect.
0:14:39.5 Kim Schlag: It doesn't have to be the most advanced exercise to get you a really good training effect. Alright, step six, how do we organize those exercises we just discussed, there's not one way to do this, but there are general guidelines. So let's talk through those. You want to start, if you're going to program power exercises, those would come first. I do not give most of my clients power exercises on most of their training programs, I do train, I do program them, but not for everybody all the time. So power exercises, these are ones that are involving not just strength, but strength and speed, okay, so there's going to be explosiveness here, so we're talking about things like cleans and snatches, speed deadlifts, box jumps. The reps with these should be low, so you should not be doing a ton of reps, you could do a ton of sets, but the rep should be low, they can even be as low as one... I've had one reps a lot on training plans, 10 sets of one of various kinds of jumping that I do, so the rep should be low, one, two, three, four, and the sets can be...
0:15:48.5 Kim Schlag: They could be anywhere. They could be three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, like I said, even 10. You want to get full recovery between these sets. You want to be able to generate that explosive power, these are our power exercises, so you wanna have enough rest, so we're talking two, three, four minutes of rest between your sets. Those are gonna come first in your training plan if you put them in, you do not have to put them in. The power will come first. Next step after that is going to be your strength exercises, and these are going to be done in the one to five rep range, okay? The intensity is going to be hot, that means it's going to be heavy, you're going to be lifting heavy weight for this low rep range, one to five reps. These are things like barbell squats, barbell deadlift, both conventional and sumo bench press variations, hip thrust variations. So we're talking heavy weight, low rep, again, you want to have enough rest time to fully recover, so two to three minutes of rest, time your rest periods, so you give yourself that full time, so those would come next in the training plan.
0:17:00.3 Kim Schlag: One or two, you don't need to do... Don't... You shouldn't be doing more than two of these strength exercises. One is fine, two is good as well. After that, we move into our... It's so funny, whenever I see this word written, I wanna say it wrong, I'm thinking, "I know how to pronounce the word." Hypertrophy. This means muscle building. The muscle building range, now, research shows us you can build muscle in all of the rep ranges. You can build muscle in that one to five rep range, you can. You can also build it in the 12 upper rep range. The issue why this rep range, this eight to 12 rep range is called the muscle building rep range, the hypertrophy rep range... Well, first of all, it was once believed that's really, that was the only place you could really build muscle, you just built strength at the lower rep ranges, and you just built endurance at the high rep ranges. What research has shown us is that is not true. You can build muscle in all of the rep ranges, this is a really optimal range because it is just so efficient at doing that, to get in the amount of volume you're gonna need to build muscle in those low rep ranges is not going to be easy if you're doing sets of three, you're gonna need a lot of volume there, so get that in for your strength and of course it's still building muscle, and then the same thing with the other end of the spectrum, because the deal is you can't...
0:18:15.7 Kim Schlag: You still have to be lifting close to failure, so if you want to use a light weight, okay, think about doing a body weight squat to get to failure or close to failure, you're gonna have to do a lot of squats... Imagine doing a body weight squat, how many could you do before you really couldn't do another one, or were very close not being able to do another one. That'd be a lot of squats. Okay so it would be more efficient if you just held a heavy dumbbell and did fewer and then you could do work in that six to 10 rep range. I feel like I've changed the numbers here on you... The rep range, we're talking about this muscle building rep range is anywhere that six, seven, eight, nine, 10 rep range, even up 11 and close to 12, pretty much above 12, that's your muscle endurance rep range. But in this rep range, we're talking about the six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 rep range, you're going to be doing both compound and you can do some isolation exercises in here. The first set, the strength exercises, those are your compound movements, this part is going to be mostly compound, there could be some isolation in here.
0:19:30.1 Kim Schlag: What did I miss telling you about here? Usually I have three to five exercises in this rep range, in this six to 12 rep range, three to five exercises, 60 to 90 second rest. So your rest period can come down a little bit. So these would be... All kinds of exercises can fit in here, so you could be doing Romanian deadlifts, you could be doing dumbbell Romanian deadlifts, you could be doing lat pull-downs, you could be doing dumbbell rows, barbell rows, you could be doing single arm pull-downs, you could be doing seated cable rows. Lots of exercises that can work in this rep range. The idea is, with all of these rep ranges, you want to go close to failure, if not right at failure, depending on the exercise. I don't want you failing at the barbell back squats. That can be dangerous.
0:20:27.5 Kim Schlag: Okay, where am I at now? So the 12 and up rep range, that's the muscular endurance rep range. There's been a lot of myths out there saying, "This is the toning zone. If you wanna tone your body, if you wanna burn fat, and look lean and toned, this is what you should be doing. High rep, low weight." And that's actually not at all true. It's not at all true. That is... I don't care what Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer tells you. It is not the case. You do not build lean, long muscle at high rep ranges. That doesn't make any sense. There's no such thing as long, lean muscle. Your muscles have attachments and insertions. They are where they are. If you build muscle, you build muscle, and that's gonna make you look toned. If you have fat on top of that muscle, you might look bulkier, and so that's a matter of losing fat. Does that make sense? Think about that for a minute. Your muscles can't get longer. Not doing pilates, not doing high rep, like Gwyneth Paltrow... What is her trainer's name? It's all of a sudden escaping me. You know who I mean. She's always talking about her.
0:21:36.1 Kim Schlag: But that's not to say that this higher rep range is useless. It's not at all. It's great for doing isolation moves, so things... So we're talking reps of 12, 15, even 20 and more, so things that are isolation exercises. So things like biceps and triceps, tricep extensions, bicep curls, lateral raises, rear delt raises, face pulls, all of those kinds of things working these isolated movements. So when I'm talking about... We're not talking about multi-joint movements. We're talking about single-joint movements... These are fantastic for that, these isolation exercises in these higher rep ranges, and I do include these in most if not all of my training plans for my clients. A couple, one, two, three exercises in this rep range, at the end of the training plan. So the order that I have given these to you in is the order that I put them in in a training plan.
0:22:32.1 Kim Schlag: I know this is a lot to digest, and I'm sure it sparks many questions in your mind. You can hit me up on Instagram DMs, you can send me an email, email@example.com, and we can talk more on another episode about the questions that this has brought to mind 'cause I'm sure it has brought many. One I know I am going to get for sure 'cause I get it all the time is, "How can I learn about this? How did you learn about this, Kim?" I did learn some of this in my personal training certification, but not nearly as much as you might think. You might be surprised. I certainly learned a few important training principles, the principle of specificity, progressive overload. I learned about what the muscles are in the body and what they do... That was a big piece of it... But a lot of this other stuff, I learned by self study, studying other coaches, studying articles, and studying their training plans. So I started many years ago reading articles by Tony Gentilcore and Molly Galbraith and Eric Cressey, Nia Shanks, Sohee Lee...
0:23:32.3 Kim Schlag: Of course, my coach, Jordan Syatt. I have poured over his training plans for hours and hours at a time, and then peppered him with questions, and to this day, I do this. I love learning about this stuff. I literally right now in my phone notes have some questions about training for him... We have a call tomorrow... And I'll be asking him some training questions tomorrow. So it's a really good way to learn is to study other coach's programs and ask them questions. One of the best ways to do it is to hire a coach, do their programming, and then ask them questions about it. It's a fantastic way to learn. I'll ask Jordan all the time, "Why did you program this this way this time? And it's very different from how you usually do it. Here's my thoughts. I think you're trying to do X. Is that right?" And often I'm right, but sometimes I'm not. Sometimes, he's like, "That's not at all what I was doing."
0:24:19.2 Kim Schlag: A couple of book recommendations for you. Starting Strength and Practical Programming for Strength Training are useful. Nia Shanks's book, Lift Like a Girl, and Sohee Lee's Eat, Lift, Thrive, also incredibly useful. Mike Matthews's Thinner, Leaner, Stronger is a book that I used years ago that I learned a lot from as well. Alright, I hope that this has helped you. I hope that it has given you food for thought and helped you consider what you might do in your training to get the results that you are looking for. Alright, I'll talk to you next week.
0:25:02.0 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you find it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational. [chuckle] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.3 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 95 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm talking with Midwestern mom, Gina. Now, Gina is getting ready to turn 47, she has had success with weight loss. Actually in the not too distant past, she has had some success, but this time around she is really struggling. And she is wondering if it is because her body is not responding because of perimenopause. So we're gonna break that down for you today. If you listen and you're like, "Ooh, this sounds like me," I want you to check out the brand new course that I have just released. As I'm speaking to you, it is Thursday, April the 1st, the course has been live for just a few days, we've got a good bunch of women who've already hopped on this exciting offering and you have a few more days to do the same. Monday April 5th at 10:00 PM this offer closes, and I won't be opening the course back up again until the fall. So if you are ready to lose weight in perimenopause, get on it now. Kimschlagfitness.com is where you can go to find out all the info on that. Alright, let's hit it.
0:01:09.8 Kim Schlag: Well I am so glad we could make this call happen. A little bit of technical difficulty but we powered through.
0:01:17.8 Gina: [chuckle] Yeah, thank you.
0:01:17.9 Kim Schlag: Remind me where you're from. Actually, I don't even know if you told me where you're from. Where do you live?
0:01:22.2 Gina: I don't think I did. I live in Kansas City, Missouri.
0:01:26.6 Kim Schlag: Oh, okay, got it. I lived on the other side of the state for several years. My husband went to Wash U for graduate school so we lived in St. Louis for a couple of years. I love Missouri.
0:01:36.1 Gina: Yeah, we just actually moved back from St. Louis, we were there for a year and a half because of my husband's job now we're back so, yeah.
0:01:42.7 Kim Schlag: Oh okay. Did you live downtown? Or were you out in the suburbs? Where were you?
0:01:47.8 Gina: No, we lived in Imperial, just south.
0:01:48.0 Kim Schlag: Okay, got it. Good, nice. Yeah, that's a great city. Really family friendly.
0:01:54.0 Gina: Yeah.
0:01:55.7 Kim Schlag: And are you originally from Missouri?
0:01:57.8 Gina: No, Western Kansas. Lived out by Dodge City. Went to high school in a little Podunk town, Kingsley, so...
0:02:05.3 Kim Schlag: Alright. And tell me some more about you. There's you, your husband. I know you at least have a daughter, you mentioned your daughter in one of your emails to me.
0:02:15.0 Gina: Yeah, she is graduating college this May and we have a son who's 24, he's been out on his own for a couple of years. He's managing one of our big movie theaters over here, so...
0:02:26.6 Kim Schlag: Oh okay, got it. And...
0:02:29.8 Gina: We both work for B&B theaters, so it's a small family-owned theater chain. We have about 50 theatres in nine states and so he's managing the one in Liberty, so...
0:02:43.3 Kim Schlag: And how is that's going for you guys now during COVID? Are theaters open where you guys are?
0:02:49.2 Gina: It's not great but we're going. [chuckle] I was furloughed for probably six or eight months, and then got back on. He did the same. They're probably... You can only do 50% capacity right now, so it's kind of hard to have run that business, but we're making it.
0:03:11.8 Kim Schlag: Good.
0:03:12.5 Gina: We're making it, yeah.
0:03:14.4 Kim Schlag: I'm glad to hear that.
0:03:16.7 Gina: Yeah, yeah.
0:03:16.8 Kim Schlag: So tell me more about the question you emailed me about. So I have kind of an idea of what we wanna chat about today, but kinda start from beginning. Where you're at with things, what you want some help with. Let's hear it all.
0:03:26.6 Gina: So, I think my major frustration has come from... Well, the last couple of years I've kind of... I'm at the age where I'll be 47 in a couple of months. So I'm at the age where I'm like wisdom really does come with age. [chuckle] And so I know that I need to be more patient, take things slowly. I kinda know... I'm kinda knowing all the things, I knew all the things but now I'm kind of like, "Okay, this is what you have to do to make the progress that you want." So last year was the first time I started macros counting, ever. And I had great success for my first cut, and then I did a reverse into what I thought was my maintenance and trying to find out it was an unintentional bulk of about 5% without wanting to be bulking. [chuckle] So I added that fat and not really... Probably not the muscle during that time. And so when I look back at pictures which are a big trigger for me and I don't like doing them, but I did take some back when I started and I took some recently, and you can't see a change in my body.
0:04:39.7 Gina: So I think what I need to figure out is... I think I kinda have, for the most part know the nutrition part, what needs to be done, I think. I'm still trying to figure that out with my own body, you know how everybody's different, you gotta tweak little things here and there. But then the workouts, I don't know if I'm... I thought I was doing some decent progressive overload and I did see the newbie games. I think with just the muscle I had in my body already, I think you just had that... I can't remember if it was you that had the podcast, there was somebody who was all science-y talking about the actual muscle that you have when you first start doing it. It's just kind of... The nutrients and stuff are going into it making it look larger, you're not really actually building muscle yet. So I think that's all I was doing 'cause I could tell mostly my biceps and my shoulders up in this area. But I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, 'cause I feel like in a year, I feel like I gave myself a lot of time. I feel like I was very patient, and so I just... I guess I just get frustrated because I'm like, "Okay, either I'm doing something wrong or my body is not responding because of whether it be perimenopausal or whatever, metabolism, whatever." So that's where I'm at. I'm just kind of in a spot where I don't know what the heck's going on. [chuckle]
0:06:05.7 Kim Schlag: Okay, great. Well, we can totally get to work on getting to the bottom of this. Let's talk me through this, we'll talk about both pieces separately, we'll talk about the work out piece, we'll talk about the nutrition piece. Let's talk nutrition first, because it is the driver of fat loss. No matter what a person is doing with their workouts, let's say they're not even working out, they could still get to their goal weight, it might not look like what they thought it was gonna look like 'cause they haven't done that muscle building piece, but they should still be able... They will still be able to get there if the nutrition piece is dialed in. It sounds like you have a lot going on in your mind as far as you feel pretty clear on what you should be doing if that... Here's the piece of with nutrition. You have to have a really good plan, you have to know what you're doing, and then the execution of it is actually harder than most people give it credit for, so we're gonna talk through here and see what was the plan you followed and see, was it a good plan, was it too restrictive, too many calories, not enough calories, so then you were binging, whatever it was.
0:06:58.3 Gina: Yeah.
0:06:58.7 Kim Schlag: And then we can talk about the execution of that plan and the answer to why you're not making progress is gonna be found either in the plan itself, your execution of the plan or your expectations were off. And I don't think it's that one 'cause you gave yourself a whole year. Some people are like, what's wrong? And it's been 42 point 3 days. [chuckle] I don't think it's the last one for you. The answer is gonna be found in one of those first two. Either the plan or somewhere in the execution of it. Talk me through, what was the plan as far as your macros?
0:07:27.4 Gina: Well, last year when I started, I wasn't ready to do the whole what I call restrictive and just eat chicken and broccoli and that type of thing. I thought, "Okay," when I heard about the macros like that, "Okay, this sounds like something I can do, not super restrictive, I can fit whatever I want in there, just as long as it fits in there." I thought that would be better for me, and then I figured later I could kind of piece some other things in, which is what I did. I feel like it did work for me, and then now that I've gotten... I tried again in October to do a little cut, my body wasn't responding. Now I'm starting to put in some veggies and some fruits and trying to be a little more smart with my choices for my body.
0:08:19.1 Kim Schlag: Before recently, you weren't really doing too much with vegetables and fruit?
0:08:26.1 Gina: I don't like veggies. [chuckle]
0:08:28.1 Kim Schlag: I can so relate! I did not either.
0:08:28.3 Gina: I know.
0:08:31.7 Kim Schlag: Okay, you heard that on my podcast before.
0:08:32.8 Gina: Yeah.
0:08:33.6 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I totally was not a vegetable eater. You weren't eating vegetables, fruit before then. In the fall, what were your macros? What did you set for your macros when you were struggling not losing weight?
0:08:44.6 Gina: And that's what I think... I figured out that there's... Now that I know there's a range, there's a range for maintenance. It's not just... Yeah, yes. That way I could go off of it. I feel like maybe I was at the top of that range and I was trying to cut from the top of my range, and it wasn't enough for my body to respond because...
0:09:06.8 Kim Schlag: What was the top end of your range?
0:09:11.8 Gina: Well, I think my maintenance was 2000.
0:09:16.2 Kim Schlag: Okay. And how tall are you?
0:09:17.5 Gina: I'm only 5'3.
0:09:19.7 Kim Schlag: What do you mean only? I'm 5'3 as well.
0:09:22.1 Gina: I'm only 5'3. [chuckle]
0:09:23.0 Kim Schlag: Actually, I'm 5'3.5 [laughter]
0:09:27.3 Gina: I used to say that! [laughter]
0:09:27.5 Kim Schlag: It's super important for us short girls we need to get our halves in there. You're 5'3. And how much do you weigh?
0:09:35.0 Gina: This morning, I weighed 174.
0:09:38.5 Kim Schlag: 174, got it. And I'm gonna do some calculating while we chat here.
0:09:42.7 Gina: Okay.
0:09:44.3 Kim Schlag: You were at 2000 and 2000 for your maintenance calories, is what you're saying.
0:09:47.7 Gina: Yeah.
0:09:49.1 Kim Schlag: And...
0:09:49.5 Gina: Well I only cut to 1750. And then I tried to do 1650. And I wasn't going to add any more exercising 'cause I was already super hungry, and I know those are the two levers basically that you have to pull.
0:10:06.2 Kim Schlag: Okay. I will tell you, 1750 should be solidly deficit calories for you, it should be. At 174 pounds, 1750 should be solidly in your deficit, which then... That's the first piece. We're gonna look at, what is the plan. It's not like you're trying to tell me, "I'm trying to lose weight on 2300 calories. What's the problem?" I'd say the problem is, you're trying to eat too many calories. That brings us to the next piece, which is the execution of hitting that. I don't know if you have your log handy, but the next piece I would have somebody look at is, okay, out of every 30 days, how many days did you hit that amount of calories exactly? That would be the next question because the place that some people... Let me start again. It is really easy to almost hit your calories, not quite hit them, it feels like just as much work as though you were hitting them.
0:11:03.7 Gina: Oh.
0:11:04.6 Kim Schlag: And then you're spinning your wheels like, "I'm doing all the things, but it's not working. My body is not responding." And the issue is actually you're probably at 70% compliance with your nutrition, and to see really good results, it's gonna take 80 at minimum. And so that's my gut instinct here is that you were getting close to 1750 and maybe you were hitting 1750 or even 1650 many days in a month, but not enough days to get the progress you want. Does that resonate with you? Or do you say, "No, 100% I was hitting those calories without question."
0:11:37.7 Gina: In October, I probably wasn't even though I... When I was tracking, I feel like I'm pretty right on when I track. Just because I know this... I know I can't cut without tracking. I know I can maintain.
0:11:56.5 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:11:57.8 Gina: I figured that one out.
0:12:00.1 Kim Schlag: You successfully maintain.
0:12:02.2 Gina: I did that for the last six months and I haven't tracked much at all. So that was good. [chuckle]
0:12:10.1 Kim Schlag: Great! That's huge. That's fantastic, Gina. That's really fantastic. Okay, tell me this. Do you use a food scale?
0:12:15.7 Gina: Yes.
0:12:17.4 Kim Schlag: You use a food scale. What types of things do you weigh during... On a normal day?
0:12:24.5 Gina: Well, anything that I don't normally eat that I don't know, that's actually what it should be. I've already done this, so I know this breakfast is right on because I've weighed it once before and I just know it. Does that make sense?
0:12:37.0 Kim Schlag: Give me an example.
0:12:38.8 Gina: For breakfast, I'll have protein oatmeal. I already know that my half a cup of oatmeal is however much. I know that's legit in my system. I know when I put it in MyFitnessPal, that is right on.
0:12:57.1 Kim Schlag: Got it.
0:12:57.1 Gina: But if I have...
0:13:00.2 Kim Schlag: But when you made it, you wouldn't be like weighing the oats, you'd be measure-cupping them.
0:13:02.8 Gina: Yeah.
0:13:03.9 Kim Schlag: Got it. And what about things like oils and... Yeah, what about oil. Would you weigh the oil, teaspoon the oil?
0:13:13.2 Gina: I actually don't really use oil.
0:13:17.9 Kim Schlag: No? Okay, interesting. Those are some of the big things that I look for. If people are eyeballing it a lot, your calories can add up just enough to kick you out of your deficit. Even though you know like, okay, half a cup of oatmeal, if it's X number of calories. Interestingly, and you should try this, anybody who's listening should try this, go get a half cup measuring cup and measure out what you think a half cup of oatmeal is.
0:13:42.9 Gina: Okay.
0:13:44.3 Kim Schlag: And then look at the serving size on your oatmeal and weigh it, and you're gonna be surprised. It doesn't come flat to the top and it certainly isn't a little bit rounded. [chuckle]
0:13:51.9 Gina: Yeah.
0:13:52.0 Kim Schlag: It's under a little bit. That might sound like pretty small potatoes, but little things like that...
0:14:00.5 Gina: Adding up.
0:14:00.6 Kim Schlag: Adding up over the course of the day can really add up. Now, here's the thing. If a person is doing that and making progress at a great rate, totally fine. If somebody's like, "I'm losing weight at a rate that feels really good to me, and I'm measuring cupping things," great! Go for it. If a person is struggling, these are the places I look to dial in.
0:14:20.5 Gina: Okay.
0:14:21.2 Kim Schlag: I would suggest you use a scale to weigh pretty anything that is not...
0:14:26.6 Gina: Okay.
0:14:27.5 Kim Schlag: You don't need to weigh your egg. [chuckle] If you're having one egg, you're having one egg. And if it has a bar scan. If you're eating a protein bar that has a scan code just weigh it. Your greens, you don't need to be weighing your lettuce, that would be a little bit woohoo. We're getting [laughter] how much lettuce. You can eat the whole bag of spinach, it doesn't matter. But really anything else, even your banana...
0:14:49.2 Gina: Okay.
0:14:49.4 Kim Schlag: Your apple, weigh those things. I put a banana in my shake every day, and it's interesting to me, I try and guess how many grams it's gonna be.
0:15:00.7 Gina: Yeah.
0:15:00.8 Kim Schlag: And I'm getting better 'cause I've been doing it every day for weeks now, but I still don't get it quite on looking at a size of banana. Even though we might only be like 40 calories off on the banana and 30 calories off on the oats, but if you do that everyday...
0:15:10.7 Gina: Yeah. Okay.
0:15:13.3 Kim Schlag: Across time, that can really make a difference. That's the one thing I would say. Then talk to me about things like weekends. How are you doing with weekend eating, like going out with friends or parties or holidays and those kinds of things?
0:15:27.8 Gina: My weekends are actually pretty good. We try to go out to eat maybe once a week on Sundays after church or something, so I don't have to cook again. And I will try to do my best to choose something that's... Usually it's a salad with grilled chicken, but I'll keep the cheese on it and maybe a couple of croutons or whatever, but I won't have the dressing. I try to keep that at a minimum and then just go ahead and cook the rest of my meals. I don't think my weekends are a big deal. I do like me some popcorn, obviously in the movie theater business so I'll have [chuckle].. There's a certain popcorn that I get that doesn't have much calorie fat stuff in it, so I will have that on a Friday night or a Saturday night when we watch a movie at home or something, but... I'm trying to be right on.
0:16:22.9 Kim Schlag: And is that kind of thing... When you're at work, are you eating popcorn at work?
0:16:28.4 Gina: No, I work from home now, so that's a good thing.
0:16:31.5 Kim Schlag: Okay. [chuckle]
0:16:32.0 Gina: I'm in the accounting office. When we were attached to a theater though, that was a problem. [chuckle]
0:16:38.2 Kim Schlag: Okay.
0:16:38.5 Gina: But not anymore!
0:16:40.8 Kim Schlag: 'Cause that's the other kind of thing that can really trip people up. It's food amnesia. We think in our log it says we ate 1750. But we're not counting the handful of popcorn as we walk down the hall [chuckle] to go to the bathroom at the movie theater. We don't count that. We forget it. It's not like we're lying. We just... It's gone. And we do the same thing, if we pick a couple of nuts out of off, our kids eating something, we pick a couple of those. And then we're making dinner, and we eat three spoonful of the dinner as we're prepping it for our family. And those little things really add up. And we don't remember them. And then there's this... I'm literally doing it all just right! And so my challenge to you, Gina, if you will accept it, is going to be to go for the next 30 days, anything you eat, it has to be logged before you even taste it. Before you even put it in your mouth, even if you're about ready to take a handful of nuts...
0:17:36.3 Gina: Yeah.
0:17:39.7 Kim Schlag: Weight it, put it in your log, and then it's there. Do you accept my challenge?
0:17:43.0 Gina: Yes, I do. I've caught myself because I've listened to you talk about that, and I've caught myself if something gets on my finger or something, I would go in to just lick it off your finger, and I was like, "Nope, can't do that, go rinse it down the sink! [laughter]
0:17:56.8 Kim Schlag: Yeah! And some people are gonna be listening being like, "Wow, guys, how obsessive are we getting?" It's the little things that matter. Just like if you were trying to save enough money for your first down payment on your house. These little bits of things you used to spend money on when you didn't have that goal, it didn't matter then. It matters now that you're trying to scrape every nickel and dime. And when you're really trying to lose weight, these things matter. It is not my goal for people to have this level of tightness with their calories forever. It's gonna be for this period of time that you're gonna be working on weight loss. And I suggest that people chunk a short period of time, like "I'm gonna do this for 12 weeks, and then I'm going to have maintenance, which is going to mean a lot more calories." Though I still want people to... At that point, I still don't want you going back to old habits of like lick my pinky everyday, but you're just gonna have more calories to play with. And having two handfuls of popcorn every day, you're gonna be able to fit that in easy.
0:18:51.4 Gina: Alright. [chuckle]
0:18:56.0 Kim Schlag: So tell me about... Before we move on to exercise tell me about this transition you're making to eating more fruits and vegetables. How is that going? How did you make the choice to do that? Like why? Tell me.
0:19:07.0 Gina: I have been trying to fill my life full of podcasts and people who kind of think the way that I want to be. And so I heard a couple that was talking about just making a veggie and fruit tray and just having it at eye level in your refrigerator at all times, and then just pulling it out at every meal. Whether or not I eat it at every meal, I'm not. It's normally at dinner, but I eat more than just a fistful of like say, cauliflower, or broccoli, or whatever.
0:19:38.2 Kim Schlag: Good.
0:19:40.8 Gina: So I'm getting it in, not every meal, but I'm getting it in like at one meal 'cause I...
0:19:46.2 Kim Schlag: Hey, that's huge progress for somebody who wasn't eating vegetables at all before. And are you finding that you're enjoying it or are you still at the tolerating phase?
0:19:55.3 Gina: I'm tolerating, 'cause I have to do like a tablespoon of whatever little dip, hummus or light ranch or something, just to... Just a little bit of something to... [chuckle]
0:20:06.4 Kim Schlag: Yeah. I really admire that Gina. It's not an easy transition to make, and other people listening to us who grew up maybe just loving vegetables might be like, "What the heck are these ladies talking about?" But I'm telling you, it was a real concerted effort for me, just like it is for you right now, to you say like, "I am going to be a person who eats vegetables." And if that means putting the dip on it... For me, dip never did it, I had to find... I started putting garlic powder on everything, and garlic paste was my big go-to. Garlic paste, and then roasting it in the oven, or putting it on the grill, and I could eat anything cooked like that, I realized. And now, I have to tell you, it's seven years later and I genuinely like vegetables. I do. So...
0:20:45.2 Gina: Oh, there's hope.
0:20:47.3 Kim Schlag: There's hope for you. We're gonna talk in a few years and you're gonna be like, "I eat vegetables all the time. I do." I tell you, when I was in my 30s, I pretended to eat vegetables 'cause it felt so ridiculous, I'd be out with my girlfriends and everybody's getting these big salads, and I'd be like, "That's what we're cooking, salads?" And so I would put some salad on my plate or whatever, and pretend to eat it, and I'd be eating the croutons and the cheese, and then eat all the other stuff 'cause I'm like, "Who the freak eats lettuce? What is wrong with you?"
0:21:09.6 Gina: Yeah, right.
0:21:12.9 Kim Schlag: So, yeah. So I totally feel you there. I'm telling you, this is gonna be a habit that pays huge dividends. Your health is gonna benefit, your weight loss is gonna benefit because once you start really liking vegetables and can pump your meals full of that, it's a really good thing. So I'm very happy for you that you're making this effort.
0:21:29.9 Gina: Thanks.
0:21:30.4 Kim Schlag: Have you found fruit you like now? That's usually easier.
0:21:33.4 Gina: I actually eat a banana every day, but I'm more like green grapes and cantaloupe, watermelon type of stuff. I don't really like apples. I don't know if it's the skin. I can always take it off, but I hear there's benefits to that, so I try to make myself eat one every once in a while. But I'm trying, I'm just not very good at trying stuff or knowing how to eat them like vegetables or whatever. I wanna eat vegetables, but not know that I'm eating vegetables. [chuckle]
0:22:07.6 Kim Schlag: I totally hear you. Yeah, and that's a good place to begin. I've really gotten into putting spinach and okra into my smoothie, and it's worked very well. I could eat a big bowl of spinach and a salad now, but still, I've been very sick in recent months, and I did not want a salad. The last thing I could even tolerate the idea of eating that much salad, and that's why I started putting it in these smoothies, and I get a crap ton of spinach in there. And somebody told me to try frozen okra. Weirdly enough, it has zero flavor in a shake. You can get frozen okra and throw it in there, zero...
0:22:43.0 Gina: That's odd. That's so odd.
0:22:43.1 Kim Schlag: I'm telling you, you should try... For somebody who wants to sneak vegetables through...
0:22:44.4 Gina: Okay, okay. [chuckle]
0:22:46.0 Kim Schlag: You have to make a shake that tastes really good. Look for my recipes on Instagram, it's on my feed. But you put some of that in there and then you're gonna get a lot of the nutrients from that. I would never in a million... I don't even know how to prepare okra to actually eat as okra, but I couldn't... I had no idea it was in my smoothie, so there's an idea for all you veggie folks out there. [chuckle]
0:23:04.5 Gina: Yeah. Summer time will be great for that because I find in the winter time, I don't like my shakes, smoothies as much 'cause they're cold. So I like to eat my stuff, so I'll have to figure that out and see...
0:23:16.4 Kim Schlag: Yeah. I wouldn't 'til it gets warmer out there. Alright, so let's talk about exercise then. Tell me what you've been doing and tell me your... I think you had a specific question about exercise, did you?
0:23:28.8 Gina: I don't know. But what I am doing is I like to lift weights. I'm just at home, I just have up to 30s. I have a bench, adjustable bench. So I've been trying to progressive overload it. I've been putting in the Strong app so I could keep track of how much I'm lifting and when I'm lifting and all that stuff, so I can see if I'm making progress or not. But basically, I used to do my legs, my lower body twice a week and upper body twice a week, I think. And then I heard somebody say something about... 'Cause I have... I'm larger on the bottom. I have muscular... I am muscular, but I'm larger on the bottom, and they're like, "If you want to change the shape of your body, focus on your upper body, so you get your upper body bigger, basically, in the process while also doing lower, and that way your shape will be different." I don't know if that's true or not, but...
0:24:33.0 Kim Schlag: Well, that's partly true, but it depends on how they're telling you to do. That is true. If you want to have a smaller looking waist, you can build yourself broader shoulders and back, and that can definitely give that appearance. Did they tell you to cut out one of your lower body days? That was what I'm wondering. Are you...
0:24:47.3 Gina: Well, I did that myself.
0:24:50.0 Kim Schlag: Got it. I wouldn't cut out a lower body day for that, you could just add in some more upper body, and that's really gonna be a lot of patience. Like that, "Oh, that." And this is the difference between losing weight and building muscle, losing weight in the grand scheme of things is a much shorter term proposition than building muscle. To change the shape of your body, as in like you want broader shoulders narrowing down, that's a several years project. That's not gonna be like you look in four, or five, or six months and be like, "Where is my shape?" It's gonna be over years. I will tell you, my legs were always in my mind, my problem area. I'm a short girl with short legs, and I always felt like my legs looked bigger and my hips looked bigger. It took me years of a combination of going to fat loss phases and building muscle in my legs to get that lean tone, my legs didn't look too big to me definition. That was not a short-term proposition. So the chances that you're doing something wrong aren't as high as you just haven't done it long enough yet to see the results you're really looking for.
0:25:52.5 Gina: No, and that's fine, I understand it's a huge, long process and I'm not quitting anytime soon, so I'm not quitting ever, actually. I just think I need to figure out what my body responds better to and do that, because on the other days, I'll do a push and a pull, and then on my fourth day, I actually have been, just because I don't know what I'm doing, alternating my push or my pull. One week I'll have two pushes and one pull, and the next week I'll have two pulls and one push. I don't know, with what I have here, obviously, I can go a little further with the upper body than the lower body, and I don't know what I'm gonna do going forward. I would like to build my gym out, but I don't know what I'm doing. [chuckle]
0:26:42.1 Kim Schlag: And actually, what to get to build the gym out? Is that what you mean?
0:26:47.4 Gina: Yeah, I think I have an idea of what to get, but I've never lifted a barbell in my life.
0:26:52.9 Kim Schlag: Oh God, so you're talking about, once you have it, you don't know what to do.
0:26:55.8 Gina: Yeah, right.
0:26:56.3 Kim Schlag: Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. I hear what you're saying. Okay, so as far as... Push-pull legs is definitely a valid split. There's nothing wrong with doing push-pull legs. I do think you might wanna get some more volume on your lower body, so you could also do two lower, two upper, 'cause then you're still working your upper body plenty. That's one possibility to go back to your upper-lower split, you could keep doing your push-pull legs. Yeah, there's nothing wrong with that split. And then, as far as learning what to do with the barbell, really getting some good coaching, if you have the ability to get an in-person coach, that would be fantastic. If not... I never had an in-person coach to learn how to use a barbell. Ever. I learned that... I got my online coach. My very first online coach, I actually hired a woman... She was teaching women in a group format how to do power lifting, and I'm like, "I wanna do that." I just... "I wanna do that." And so, I did this with this group, and I learned online.
0:28:01.4 Kim Schlag: So, there's plenty... I have a ton of videos on my YouTube channel, literally talking you through every barbell lift, like, "Here's how to sumo deadlift." Literally, from ground one, like, "Here's what to do with the barbell, here's where to start." Benchpress is the same squat. I have in-depth tutorials about all of that. If you're gonna go that route, the way I always tell people to learn a new move is, "Sit down and watch the video, watch the whole thing multiple times, and then try it with little to no weight, very little weight." Now, it's gonna be hard to deadlift from the... You can't deadlift from the floor, 'cause you have to put some bumper plates for that, by 10-pound bumper plates, which gets your barbell up to right height to pull from, but you're only lifting 65 pounds. That's very different than trying to lift the 45-pound plates. With a barbell bench press, if you're talking about using upper body, you can just lift the bar. With a squat, you can just lift the bar.
0:28:56.6 Kim Schlag: I'm really excited that you're thinking about getting into doing the barbell lifts. I think it can really be empowering for women to try that. When you start doing it, people typically really take to it, and you do seem to be a person who's really taken to strength training, so I bet you're gonna love it. Don't be intimidated by it. You can absolutely... If you've learned how to do these... And the reality is, if you know how to squat and deadlift with dumbbells, the transition to doing it with barbells is not going to be a huge leap, it's not, as long as you have lift from doing those. And then, as far as seeing these changes in your body, just remind yourself this is gonna be a really long-term project. It's gonna be a combination of both fat loss and muscle gaining, so you're changing the shape of your legs is likely still more fat loss on your lower part of your body, which just takes longer. It just does, and you will likely go through cycles of deficit and maintenance over the years, until you're finally at a point...
0:29:51.2 Kim Schlag: And I really do think at some point we just need to say, like, "I'm really happy with this and this is my body," but that might still take... Like I said, I've been at this for seven years and I haven't, every minute of those seven years, constantly been like, "Well, what else can I fix on my body?" But this is where the weight training can come in. I have very much been like, "What can I do next? Now can I finally get my first pull-up? Can I get two times by body weight demo? Can I... " All these different goals that you can set for yourself, and you like the focus, and as you do that, your body gets to be more fit and more strong and more toned and all of those things. What were you laughing about?
0:30:28.7 Gina: Pull-up.
0:30:29.2 Kim Schlag: Pull-up. Are those...
0:30:31.5 Gina: Yeah, see, last year, I worked on my push-ups, and I'm still working on them, because I am trying to figure out the best way to do it. For a while, I was just doing the down motion for however many counts, and then I was only doing the up motion. That got me stronger, but still, when I was trying to do a push-up, I felt like my lower body was sagging at the bottom and I couldn't stay. I could go all the way down, I can go all the way up, no problem, but I couldn't...
0:30:56.2 Kim Schlag: Wait, did you... Now I'm confused. Are we talking push-ups or pull-ups?
0:30:58.1 Gina: Push-ups. I'm... Yeah, I was starting with push-ups, 'cause I started that last year. 'Cause those two, to me, are tough things to do. So now, I'm doing the stair thing, like you... I think it was you that mentioned the stair thing. So, I started at a fourth step and now I'm on a third step, so I'm getting there. But then, I want, I want, I want to do pull-ups. So, for Christmas, I asked for one of those power towers so I could have something just to work on. And the first time I tried, which wasn't too long ago, just hanging is awful. My grip is awful.
0:31:37.9 Kim Schlag: You'll get better. I promise you'll get better.
0:31:41.7 Gina: I'm just gonna be content with trying to work on hanging for a bit, just because I have so much extra body weight that I'm like, "I'm never gonna get this up here." So, it'll take me a long time, I know it will, but I'm committed to getting that at some point in my lifetime.
0:31:57.3 Kim Schlag: You hit on a good point. One of the things that does make pull-ups easier is losing weight. As you lose weight, you're pulling less. That does help. And hanging is a great first step. Did you buy the really long bands that you can do, chin-up assistant bands?
0:32:14.3 Gina: Not yet, but I heard you say that the other day and I need to get some. So I will do that.
0:32:19.2 Kim Schlag: Those will be a game changer. I'm gonna tell you, you can use those for your push-ups too. You can hook those over your pull-up bar, do what's called band-assisted push-ups, and this is for people who are down low like you are, like third step. You could start using these. If you're just starting guys, if you're way up, really up high like a counter top height, you don't need to do the band assistants yet, but as you get closer to the floor, what you do is you tie this heavy band up to the pull-up bar, get into the band around your hips, get on the floor to do your push-ups, and it's giving you that little bit of assistance, practicing on the floor. What it will do over time is you'll use a thinner and thinner band, so it's not giving you that much assistance. And it's another really great way to get stronger at your push-ups. So those bands can help with that, and with your pull-ups. They're great for pull-up training.
0:33:05.9 Gina: Awesome, that sounds great. [chuckle]
0:33:08.2 Kim Schlag: And focusing on those kinds of things in the gym can really be the difference between a person obsessing about their weight and just doing to do with their nutrition and really being excited, like I'm excited to get back in the gym and see, "Can I use just the purple band today?" And I really, it's one of the reasons I really promote strength training in women, besides the fact that it does change the shape of your body, it changes your focus to something that: One, you have more control over, and two, that it's just way more empowering than, "What size are my thighs today?" [chuckle]
0:33:39.3 Gina: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and I think I'll be fine. I just, I'm so frustrated 'cause I have so much to lose and it's been sitting there for a while and I've been trying. And I just, I think even just losing 10 pounds of fat would be a huge thing for me, and then I could do that three chunks at a time or whatever, however long it takes, but I think that's just where I am, but I know that I need to be really strict during my cuts, so I'm going to do what you said on the grams because it didn't even cross my mind about the half cup oatmeal. Didn't even cross my mind. So stuff like that could be, and I just started weighing my bananas, 'cause you know they're all different sizes. [chuckle]
0:34:19.3 Kim Schlag: They are. They are, and again guys, I know it seems little, but it's the addition of these things throughout a day that can add up, 'cause ideally when you're in a calorie deficit, you're only in 250 to 500 calories lower than your maintenance, which you know how fast it is to eat up 250 calories through things like 30 calories extra on a banana and 20 calories extra on the oatmeal, and then I put extra milk into this. All these little things, they add up. There's not a single food you can't include when you're going to lose weight, but making sure that you account for what you've eaten is the key to figuring out, "Am I actually in the deficit that on paper I think I'm in?"
0:35:01.0 Gina: Yeah, and I definitely don't wanna do that forever. I'm saying that yeah, just like you, for my cut, this has to be this way for me. I have to figure out exactly what I'm doing or I'm not gonna have what I think is success. And then after that, like I said, I got my maintenance thing. I figured that out, but, so that'll be nice once I can cut and then I can maintain easily, and it's just this cut thing is confusing me. It's just harder this time than it was last time, and I guess I was trying to figure out what exactly had changed or what I had done differently, which I feel like I'm not doing things differently.
0:35:44.8 Kim Schlag: Were your calories at 1750 when you lost a year ago? What were they at then?
0:35:50.5 Gina: Yeah, I think I actually started at 1650 and I ended up at 1750 during my cut just because I had... I was, yeah, for some reason. I can't remember if I was super hungry and just wanted to see if 100 calories would be enough to keep me going. But yeah, I was at 1750. So I think when I tried in October, I think I was just irritated that I couldn't cut at the same amount, and so I don't think I was as meticulous as I am right now. So I've just started another cut one week ago, so I'm seeing a little bit, but I'm gonna now.
0:36:32.0 Kim Schlag: Fantastic.
0:36:33.2 Gina: Do the grams with the oatmeal. [chuckle]
0:36:34.3 Kim Schlag: Message me back in, so 30 days and my biggest piece of advice I give to people who are tracking calories is to pre-log your food the night before. So decide exactly what you're gonna eat. So I'm gonna have 120 grams banana. I'm gonna have whatever it is, put that all in. Get it set exactly how you want it to be, including things like, "I'm having popcorn Friday night," so you know I'm having X amount of popcorn, put that all in. The next day when you're ready to do it, if you're gonna change anything, change it before you eat it, so you don't remember and then really weigh everything out. It does not take that long. It really does not take that long to do all of that, and what it does is save you time of years of being frustrated with why am I not losing, right? So 30 days of doing that, hit those calories and keep a calendar that says, 'Yes, I did it today," or I was a little bit over, so you can really look and see did I hit at least 80% to 90% consistency with these calories and then let's touch base again.
0:37:35.6 Gina: Yeah. And do you think the calories... 'Cause I'm doing the whole macros, you know the protein, the carbs, and the fat. Is it more important to hit all the macros and be maybe 50 calories under or is it better to do calories?
0:37:51.9 Kim Schlag: Your macro should add up to your calories. Right, so I typically do not macro count. I actually am right now in the cut I'm in because the coach I hired, that's how he does it, and I really wanted to see, he's one of my business mentors and I wanted to work with him, so I'm counting macros right now. Your macros will equal up to your calories. They will. In the end of the day, if you just, if your total calories is 1750 and you hit 1750 and you get in, what's your protein grams you're shooting for?
0:38:17.3 Gina: 148.
0:38:18.0 Kim Schlag: Okay, so if you get your protein 148, you hit total calories 1750, that is enough. What research shows us is those two things are enough to cause fat loss. If your fats and carbs are different day-to-day, it doesn't necessarily matter. For a lot of people, they prefer counting macros and it keeps them on track more to know I need, I need X number of grams of fat and I'm gonna hit that. If you add those up and you get, it makes your total calories. I would not hyper-focus on carbs versus fats. I would hyper-focus on total calories and protein.
0:38:47.5 Gina: Okay. And do you touch on that with your new course coming out for menopause, 'cause you know that.
0:38:53.4 Kim Schlag: Which piece of it?
0:38:56.5 Gina: Like how your body responds as you age, with the carbs and stuff.
0:39:01.2 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. Absolutely, I'm gonna hit that hard, 'cause so many women are told they need to eat low carb. So I'm gonna kind of myth bust there. And again, when I tell you guys fats and carbs don't, with the ratio in doesn't matter to fat loss, I'm not saying they don't matter to you as an individual, and this is something I cover in the course to figure out, "What do I need?" Because, here's the thing, if you are somebody who does a ton of running or high intensity training, you might feel like crap with lower carbs. You might need to eat... Even moderate carbs might not even be enough for you, you might need higher carb. If you're somebody who, in over a period of time, notices you're really struggling with hunger and you're low fat, one of the things we can do to help you besides getting your protein up is giving you more dietary fat. So those things are very important to an individual's success. They're not the key to fat loss, but they could be the key for an individual sticking with their calorie targets.
0:39:54.1 Kim Schlag: And that's something I'm gonna be covering in the Menopause and Weight loss course is those specifics. It will be in the course itself, so guys who are listening too, the way the course is gonna work, I'm pre-recording videos. You're gonna get a new module each week. It will be dripped each week, you'll get a new module, you'll watch it. It's not just gonna be a watch and learn, it's gonna be a watch, learn, and do. There's gonna be action steps for you to take. And then every week, I'll be coming live to talk to all of you and talk in depth through whatever issues, questions, struggles, you're having. There's gonna be a Facebook group, we'll do that in there, and then we can all chat in the Facebook group as often as people would like to tackle specifics. And if a person is telling me like, "This is my calories and this is my protein, but I'm super tired," 'cause guys, in menopause, we're so super, super tired. And again, I'm gonna question, "Are you going low-carb? Maybe you need to bring your carbs up." So that's where we play around with carbs and fats to help us reach our physique goals, but also, "I just wanna feel good" goals.
0:40:58.3 Gina: So if I go through this next 30 days, I'm meticulous and whatever, and I'm still not seeing too much of a change, do you feel like that could be something partly perimenopausal stuff going on, hormonal? Or do you...
0:41:13.5 Kim Schlag: Here's the real deal of weight loss in menopause. It does nothing about perimenopause, nothing about the change in hormones, stops your ability to lose weight. The role that it can play, as our hormones drop... A couple of roles that it plays. One, it shifts the pattern of where we hold our weight. We tend to hold our fat more in our belly, super fun, but it's your excess fat. It's not saying, "You will now have excess fat on your belly," you can still lose that fat, and you're not gonna necessarily gain fat... You won't gain fat just because you're in peri-menopause. If you gain fat, it will likely show up in your belly. So the distribution is different. Okay, you'll still lose it. So that's one way it can wreak havoc on us. The other that is really important is, we typically just don't feel so well. We're tired, we're not moving as much, so we're burning fewer calories over the course of a day, 'cause we're not moving as much. Maybe we're stress eating. We're over-tired, if you're not sleeping well, because you have hot flashes, or because you just have that insomnia that can come with menopause. If any of those things are happening, it can mess with your hunger and cravings.
0:42:19.9 Kim Schlag: So when I talk about hormones, it can mess with those hormones that help you either feel full, your satiety, or crave things and feel really hungry. What do we do if we're craving and feel really hungry? We eat more. [chuckle] So if we're eating more, it's about the calories, but in the end, we have to come back and tackle, what do we do about our sleep? What do we do if we're trying to manage our sleep, but it's not working? I have a whole module about those guys, we wanna attack both angles. How do we help you get better sleep? But in the end, it just might not happen to them. It did not happen for me. And so how do we help you lose weight even when you are sleepless, because you can, but we have to tackle very specific things to figure that out. So that's where menopause comes in. It messes with your sleep, it messes with where you store fat, it can mess with your hunger or your satiety, "Am I stress eating?" And so we tackle all of those hurdles, but at the end of the day, it is still about getting in a calorie deficit. And so if we can get a person in a calorie deficit, they will lose weight whether they're perimenopausal or not. So no, nothing about perimenopause will specifically be keeping you from losing weight.
0:43:29.3 Gina: Okay, good to know. I just need to...
0:43:31.2 Kim Schlag: Empowering to know, because... And here's the thing it's gotta click for you ladies, if you think you can't lose weight because your age or perimenopause, you will not lose weight, because weight loss is incredibly hard. It is more hard to do than people give it credit for, and so what often happens is they think, "It is hard, it's going really slow, so something is wrong with me," when reality is, that's literally what it feels like. It is just that hard. And the things we talked here today about being more precise are overlooked, because what they're hearing is, "hormones, hormones, hormones." Do you see what I'm saying?
0:44:06.3 Gina: Yeah, I do. Yeah. Awesome.
0:44:08.9 Kim Schlag: Alright, let's stay in touch. It was great talking to you, Gina. Thanks for being brave and coming on here with me. I know I gave you a little bit of anxiety. I really admire that.
0:44:18.4 Gina: You make it easy.
0:44:20.1 Kim Schlag: I'm so glad. We'll talk soon.
0:44:21.8 Gina: Alright, thank you.
0:44:22.5 Kim Schlag: Okay, bye-bye.
0:44:25.3 Gina: Bye.
0:44:26.2 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today, I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
I'm a NASM certified personal trainer who is passionate about helping women transform their bodies through strength training and sustainable nutritional habit changes.