A Frequently Asked Question / by Stephen Cooper

Client question...

"Hi Stephen,

I have a couple of concerns with my ability to do some of the exercises and the expectations I have.  I have attended 6 out of the 8 sessions and I know I'm really out of shape, however I was expecting to at least improve on some of the exercises.  I may be doing some things wrong and perhaps you can help me identify how to get the most of the sessions and see results.  I'm still unable to do the side plank and the I can barely do a forward plank for a minute :(.  I'm up to 5 push ups (and I don't mean girl push ups), but I'd like to develop upper strength.  I'm working on my diet, and doing my best to limit my sugar intake and empty carbohydrates.  Is there anything else I should be doing?  I mentioned I'd like to lose 20-25lbs by February, so please let me know what I need to do to achieve this goal, and maintain it.  I started doing cardio and what's working for me is doing 45 minutes 3 times a week at a steady pace.  I appreciate any advice you can offer.  Thanks and have a wonderful day!"

My response...

That side plank is one of the most challenging exercises that we do.  So many times I see the same challenge with many women.  The combination of female hips and not used to doing theses type of core exercises can make the exercise frustrating.  You are not alone.  I can think of so many who have said the same thing...it does get easier, I promise. 

With the cardio I'd actually prefer that you do sprints 2x a week, and maybe the 45 min session for the 3rd workout. 

When I say sprints, I like a 4 minute warm up, then 20 seconds of sprinting (your version of sprinting) and 10 seconds of rest. 

You'll repeat this 20/10 method 8 times (4min) 

Then you'll "cool down" by slowing your pace for another 4 minutes.

Thanks for the questions and the feedback. 

Be patient.  Think of this like a martial art.  Mastery doesn't come in less than 6 hours of work.  Keeping showing up, train consistently, and eat according to plan, and the results will come. 



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