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At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.

 
— Frida Kahlo, 20th-century Mexican painter
 WELCOME
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got a foolproof way to see results from your workouts and a fix for feeling hungry all the time—yes, it involves eating! Read on...

Albert Einstein, in his infinite wisdom, once said that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. By this definition, many of us are working out like lunatics, but because we are doing the same thing over, and over, and over again. 

If you want to see results from your workouts, you need to switch it up—not the exercises you do per se, but the difficulty level. Fitness results come from progressive overload: challenging yourself and doing just slightly more than last time. 

How do you know you’re ready for progressive overload? When you still have ‘gas in the tank’ after doing your set or workout. Progressive overload should only be done when you’ve mastered an exercise and can complete it with perfect form. Don’t let your ego get in the way — don’t push yourself so hard that you can’t recover or worse, that you injure yourself. When in doubt, go easy — and don’t hesitate to get advice from a professional like a personal trainer or a coach. 

Examples of progressive overload:  
Increase weight:
Adding on more weight to your lifts, going for the heavier dumbbell on the rack. Or turn up the resistance knob on your Peloton just a little bit higher than you did the previous ride. 

Increase volume:
Increasing the number of reps in your working sets—you could go for 12 reps instead of 10. Or you could add another set, doing four sets of push-ups instead of two. 

Increase endurance:
Increase the length of your workouts by fifteen minutes, or add one more workout per week. 

Decrease rest time:
Instead of resting for three minutes in between sets, try resting for two, increasing the intensity of your workouts. 

By pushing your limits, progressive overload forces your body to adapt, and you become fitter and stronger. No more plateaus and no more insanity. 

May you endure and excel this week, Katherine & Linda
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 WORKOUT OF THE WEEK
Nicole Pearce
Nicole Pearce is a certified personal trainer who has been teaching group fitness since 2014. Her blog, Pumps and Iron, is a resource on fitness & wellness, with years of workout and dozens of healthy recipes (like these delicious-looking Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers). 

On her blog, Pearce shares everything from book recommendations to personal reflections on past struggles with eating and body image. What’s her attitude towards food today? 

Pearce explained in a blog post:  “I enjoy healthy foods but I don’t feel a single twinge of guilt when I indulge in the not-so-healthy stuff… Being that obsessed with what I was eating in college was EXHAUSTING. That’s a big reason why you’ll never see me track calories or macros and also why I don’t put nutritional information on the recipes I share on this blog. I burnt myself out! I just don’t care about that shit anymore! Ingredients matter to me—the rest doesn’t.”

Try this: Pearce integrates her substantial anatomy knowledge into the workouts she teaches, and her routines offer lots of movement variety, which staves off boredom. This 50-minute Circuit Pulse + Tabata workout using two dumbbells focuses on the upper body, guiding you through two strength circuits, then finishing with a four-minute Tabata (a format scientifically proven to be ultra-effective for your cardiac health). For more of a lower-body focus, this 45-minute Build a Combo Class workout based on building up sequences of movements, uses a single heavy weight and a single medium weight.
 NUTRITION
Why am I so hungry?
Do you feel like you’re hungry all the time? A recent study examining why some people struggle to lose weight on low-calorie diets found that blood sugar reactions to early-day meals is a major key.

Certain people in the study experienced big blood sugar dips two to four hours after eating a muffin for breakfast. These “big dippers” experienced more hunger, and went on to eat more calories over the entire day.

If you’re a “big dipper”, eating a processed-carbohydrate breakfast such as a bowl of cereal might stimulate your hunger more than a breakfast higher in protein and fat, such as scrambled eggs. Try making this food swap to experiment with what impact it has on your appetite.
  WHAT WE'RE READING
 
 A pep talk on creating daily habits that have massive impacts over time (Iron Body by Artemis)

 A vegan replacement for meatballs, these black bean and oat balls are a lightly-fried treat—serve with marinara sauce (Plant Based on a Budget)

 Four overhead-press variations for shapely shoulders using a barbell, kettlebell, dumbbell, or your bodyweight (Oxygen)

 Fitness shopping: the best resistance bands for every workout function (Greatist)

 A two-circuit resistance band workout that provides a full-body workout with one pice of inexpensive equipment (Bicycling.com)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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