Weight Loss Infographic – Learn From W3

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Women’s Workout Health & Fitness Tip #2: Invest in Yourself!

Thank you Gabe for this great tip!

Ladies- Investing in your health is one of the best things you can do- your body will thank you NOW and LATER!

Psychological Benefits to Exercise

Hey guys! As a psychology minor, I’ve been learning a lot about mental health. While exercising and taking care of our bodies is important, it is equally imperative that we maintain healthy mental states. By working out, we are flooding ourselves with endorphins. This helps us mentally because endorphins trigger a positive feeling in our bodies. Other than exercising on a consistent basis, there are several things that we can do to improve our mental well-being. Here are five that we should all remember:

1. We have to value ourselves – We should treat ourselves with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. This includes making time for our hobbies and favorite projects, or broadening our horizons.

2. We should surround ourselves with positive people – People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. We should make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where we can meet new people – For example trying a new group exercise class here at W3!

3. We all need to learn how to cope with stress – Unfortunately, many of us are stressed from our day to day routines. To cut down on stress, we need to carve out time for ourselves. Also, remembering to smile and see the humor in life is important. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.

4. We must set realistic goals – Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to take to realize your goals. We should aim high, but be realistic and not over-schedule.

5. We should ask for help when we need it – Seeking help is a sign of strength, not a weakness. We all need a little TLC from time to time. There is no shame in turning to others for help and asking for support and advice. I hope everyone finds these tips somewhat helpful! I know I’m going to try and apply them to my daily life.

~ Caitlyn

W3 Intern

7 Weight Loss Myths

Ever find yourself following every rule in the book yet the scale won’t budge?
You feel as if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to but still look the same? Let me tell you, we’ve all been there. Unfortunately there is a lot if misinformation out there that may be throwing a roadblock in front of your weight loss. We all seem to believe that the same rules apply to everybody, yet we are all different in our own ways. Some have slow metabolisms while others (the lucky ones) have fast ones. Some benefit more from cardio while others find success in strength training.
Below are seven of the most common misconceptions women believe to be true about weight loss.

#1
You Have to Work Out to Lose Weight
While it’s true that exercise burns calories, many are able to shed pounds without it. “Weight loss is a simple matter of calories in versus calories out” (Karen Ansel). For some who lack restraint, exercise may cause overeating from feeling hungrier. Weight loss aside, all experts agree that working out it good for you in more ways than one. To create a healthy balance is to consume filling foods that are healthy and lean. Veggies, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins will leave you full for longer and more energetic.

#2
Eating After 6pm or 8pm Causes Weight Gain
There is no evidence out there stating that eating after a certain time causes weight gain. The truth is that eating oversized portions at night usually indicates that you ate badly throughout the day. The best way to control how much you eat at night is to manage and space out your meals evenly throughout the day.

#3
Your Metabolism Slows With Age
Although most people tend to go up on the scale with each passing year, age is not the cause of weight gain itself. Most people pack on the pounds/fat mass due to muscle loss. Our metabolic system is consistently adjustable. This is why strength training is so important as we age. It will help protect our muscle mass while refining our diet.

#4
Carbohydrates Make You Fat
With so much fuss going on about cutting carbs or not eating them at all, it’s so hard to know what to believe. The confusion stems from the fact that many Carb foods are comfort foods that are very high in calories. However we find ourselves in a world of scientific research claiming that “cutting carbs under 130 grams a day can affect your brain function due to the lack of serotonin production.” The best way to eat carbs is to eat the healthy ones like fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

#5
Drink Water and Lose Weight
Water is essential but not a magical way to weight loss. It is commonly believed that the intake of water will flush toxins and fat from your body, but “the toxin fat connection does not have a scientific basis.” What happens is that consuming water replaces other beverages, reducing caloric intake.

#6
Just Eat Healthy Food and Lose Weight
Eating high portions of high-quality foods such as olive oil, some fish, brown rice, or nuts can cause just as much damage on your body as eating butter, pizza, fries, or cookies. The lesson in all of this is portion control. When you are not hungry, stop eating! Many people think they are hungry but really are dehydrated. Balancing is the key to weight loss. No one says you can’t have a slice of pizza here and there but don’t eat the entire box!

#7
Eating Small, Frequent Meals will Boost your Metabolism.
News flash! While the messege is right, the reasoning is reasonably off. We hear it and think, “oh yeah, it makes sense, in order to keep things moving you have to have them working.”
Wrong.
Eating portion controlled meals every three to four hours doesn’t actually boost your metabolism. It only helps prevent cravings that make healthy food choices more difficult. However eating small meals has many other benefits. It fuels your body in short intervals keeping it alert and awake. When we are deprived of food we become cranky and lack energy. Eating healthy and frequently in smaller amounts make you happy while creating a positive energy- increasing the chances you’ll make healthier choices!

Learning how to properly lose weight is tough. With the amount of diets, books, and misconceptions we have out there, no wonder we have an obesity epidemic. When it comes to yourself and your meal of choice, ask yourself will you be happy after the meal is over?
Another thing to keep in mind no matter how short or long a workout is, a workout and your body can only benefit!
Love yourself, love your body, and treat it well- it’s the only one you have.

What to Wear to the Gym for your Best Workout

Enhancing Your Performance

Many women don’t think twice when it comes to what they wear to the gym. They have their favorite pair of workout shoes, that one sports bra that feels just right (or so it seems), and their favorite pair of yoga pants they wash every day because let’s face it- they want to wear them again tomorrow. At this point holes may be forming in the inner thigh, and they are fading in the butt area, but they’re your favorite right?…you can’t just throw them away! Wrong!

Athletic apparel is a booming industry in fashion today. Many women feel that they don’t need to look cute while working out, versus the girls that go to the gym just to look good. Well let me tell you there is a lot more to athletic wear than what meets the eye. Actually, it’s an entire world of science, technology, fabric innovation, manipulation and perforation. Athletic apparel is created for a reason, and it is broken off into different categories for a reason- the reason being you. Yes, the reason is to enhance your performance through allowing the maximum range of motion, stability, and acceleration. Being aware of what you put on your body may severely impact your joints, muscles and the ladies(chest) in the long run. Athletic wear can get expensive, so I’ve come up with a list of a variety of products perfect for your specified workout and their equals for less!

#1 Taking Care of the Ladies!

I don’t care what cup you are- how small or big- you have to wear a supportive sports bra. Wearing a supportive sports bra while doing physical activity will ensure that the coopers ligaments in your breasts don’t stretch out to maximum capacity, meaning you will defy gravity for as long as you can! Are you experiencing back pain and upper back and shoulder problems? This may be due to your bra. 80% of women statistically are in the wrong size, so before you go out on your search, make sure to get measured professionally. Here are some photos of bras ranging from low to high-intensity support depending on your workout of choice and size of chest!

Great for light workouts. These bras are meant mostly for ladies with cups A-C who are lifting weights or doing light yoga, Pilates, and PiYo.

 Medium Impact Bras

These bras are best for women with A-C cups who are performing any activity from Zumba class, a long run, or just doing moderate cardio at the gym. They will support the ladies but also give them room to breathe! Getting the right size is the key to a good bra. These bras range from small to extra large. Ask an associate if you are not sure, and they will be glad to assist you!

High Impact Bras

These bras are designed with molded and adjustable straps to really help secure the chest. These bras are mostly for women with C-E cups. With extra support and padded straps, you will be able to move securely without having to worry about back aches or anyone staring at your chest! They are created to tame the ladies! The Hero as well features an traditional snap off for easy removal.

#3 The Right Tights for your Workout!

Having the right tights for your workout will be one of the key aspects of your performance. The main two categories of tights are running and yoga/training. Most running tights feature a drawcord for stability and less spandex for breathability. They usually will have an inseam or zipper pocket to stash your keys etc. Training tights, on the other hand, tend to have a higher waistband for extra coverage when doing yoga, Pilates, or any workout that asks for minimal distraction when lying on your back. It is important to be comfortable when doing your workout, so you are not pulling your pants up every five seconds! Being comfortable in your wardrobe will only make you concentrate harder due to less distractions. Nike, Lu Lu Lemon, and Under Armour all use a sweat wicking system in which the fibers will wick the sweat to the surface, allowing you to stay dry in the long run!

Running Tights

Nike Epix Lux
Lulu Lemon Speed
Lulu Moon

 TRAINING PANTS:

North Face
Lulu Lemon
Fabletics

#4 Do Not neglect your feet!

The importance of wearing the right shoe for your workout is crucial, if not the most important. If you are training, you must wear a training shoe! If you are running, you must wear a running shoe! No questions asked. This is crucial to your health, performance and pure enjoyment of your workout. Having a training shoe will help you with stability, jumping, and locking them in place when you need to. Training shoes tend to have more contact with the ground, allowing your movements to be fluid and intact. There are many different kinds of support; asking an expert will help you get on the right track. Finding the correct running shoe is key to your performance and overall bone health. Most runners need support and tend to switch their shoes out to work different muscle groups. It is important to have arch and ankle support if you have bad knees. In this case, you may need a Lunar Glide or Pegasus if shopping via Nike. Below are a few examples ranging from most minimalistic/barefoot to highest support.

Running Shoes

Nike 3.0 Flyknit
Nike Free 4.0
Nike Lunaglide 6.0
UA Speedform

TRAINING SHOES

Nike Flyknit Agility
Ryka Cross Training

These are a few tips to keep in mind. Places like Nike and Under Armour offer services like gate analysis in which they find the correct shoe for you by testing your feet on a treadmill. Now go out there and get the clothing that best suits you! Your hard work deserves the best. Follow our Pinterest page @w3body for more inspiration on athletic fashion! (Women’s Workout & Wellness)

 

*Post and information provided by Vanja, W3 Marketing Intern

How to Be Healthy and Stay Fit during Summer

It seems trivial to talk about how to be healthy and stay fit during the summertime….obviously this season is most important to all! Tank tops…. short shorts… bikinis, etc. but what we may not realize is that it’s actually a lot harder for women to fit in their workouts and prepare healthy meals during the summer. Why?

One reason is that now, kids are home from school. Many moms, both who work and don’t work, have the added responsibility of making sure their kids are taken care of FIRST. What does this mean? Quick, easy snacks & meals the kids will enjoy. It’s a lot harder to prepare food for the kids that they’ll enjoy plus prepare some healthy meals and snacks for her. Let’s face it- women put everyone else first, especially when it comes to their children. And in the summer, when their children require a lot more time commitment from them, they tend to put themselves last, making it a lot harder to stick to their healthy meal plan and workout regimen. 

Another reason are those yummy summer barbecues! barbecue chicken… potato salad…cookies… alcohol… beer… and more… “well, just this once!” 

How many times per summer do we say that? Add up those calories and see why it’s so hard to stay fit and healthy when your weekends consist of family barbecues!

The last big reason it’s hard to stay focused on your plan are vacations. Many people take vacations in the summer. What do vacations mean to the average population? Diet= out the window. Workouts? not today! Relaxation= yes please. Calories don’t count? Not this week!

It’s great and necessary to take a break from time to time, but that doesn’t mean you have to undo everything you worked hard to accomplish. So what’s the plan? Follow these steps to stay fit and healthy this summer!

1) Map out your kids’ schedule. 

2) Find time to prepare around your kids’ schedule. Is it the mornings? Evenings? or are weekends the only time you have to prepare healthy meals and snacks?

3) According to the schedule, when will you have time to workout? If it’s the mornings and you like group exercise classes at W3, choose which one you are going to do. If it’s the evenings and you know you want to participate in the group functional training program 2x/week, check those times and carve it out in your schedule. You need “me” time!

4) Again… prepare, prepare, prepare! You must prepare for the summer barbecues. By this we mean- think ahead and make something healthy to bring for everyone. Maybe look up a healthy version of chicken salad or a healthy dessert that involves fruit. It’s A LOT easier to avoid the bad stuff when you have the option of good stuff, too! And if you don’t bring it, you can’t necessarily count on anyone else who will.

5) Even on vacations, you can indulge and still not go overboard. We recommend really researching wherever you are going. Are there local places to take walks? Hike? Bike ride? Research the local food places you will most likely be visiting. Maybe choose the top ones where you can order something delicious yet healthy! You can indulge but still eat healthy 70-80% during your vacation!

We know you know.. preparation and planning are key! But really, if you go to a barbecue unprepared or wakeup and didn’t plan a workout into your hectic day, how do you expect to be able to keep the ‘good stuff’ in your schedule? Healthy food won’t just appear and time definitely won’t appear, so just plan ahead. You can do it!

If you have anymore recommendations, please leave your comments here! We would love to share more tips on staying healthy and fit during the summer!

Stay Fit, Stay Fabulous

~W3

Fit Tip: How to Make Exercise a Priority

With only 20% of the population working out, it’s obvious that exercise for the typical American is not a priority. It’s not necessarily that the majority of people don’t want to lose weight or get fit and healthy… it’s more that they don’t fit exercise into their everyday lives. The point is, if you don’t actively work to make sure you workout 3-5x/week, you most likely won’t just stumble upon the time to exercise.. unless you work in a gym of course!

Whether you’re part of that 20% of the population or not, you most likely struggle from time to time to make it to the gym. It seems more convenient than not to just skip today… “oh, I’ll get there tomorrow!” Easier said than done. How do you KNOW you’ll get there tomorrow? What are you doing to make sure you will step foot in the gym and workout hard? If the answer is nothing, you might just keep putting it off another day.

So what do you need to do to get fit and healthy? Make exercise a priority! Do this by tackling the reasons or excuses you come up with for not working out. Are you tired? Workout first thing in the morning. And not only that, but you have to plan how that workout will fit into your day. You can’t go to work and say you’ll workout on your way home if you don’t bring any exercise clothes with you. It’s not just going to happen… you have to make it happen! Here are a few examples of overcoming those excuses. If you know you are tired at night after work and you’ll most likely skip your workout, PLAN to workout in the morning. Do what you need to do to workout in the morning. This might consist of going to bed earlier, laying out your clothes the night before, preparing your breakfast if you’re in a hurry, and having a backup plan. Another example is if you tell yourself you’re not going to workout because you’re hungry after work…. Bring a snack with you! Another big one is “I don’t have time.” That’s the whole point- you have to MAKE time! Do you have time to watch TV? Surf the web? Talk on the phone? Trust me, you have time to workout.

As always, you should have a backup plan. To make exercise a priority, you have to put it FIRST before doing other things. If you have the mindset that you can’t do any other activities until you workout, you will plan ahead and fit that workout where you need to! Make exercise a priority TODAY! It will benefit you in more ways than one.

Stay fit~ Stay fabulous~

TRX Suspension Training at Women’s Workout & Wellness

We’re so happy that we have finally kicked off our TRX classes in full swing at our Tinley Park and Downers Grove locations.. and wow are they packed! These classes are open to members and non-members and are offered at various times throughout the week/weekend.  They are raging in popularity! Why?

If you’re looking to take your workout to the next level, we highly recommend you come try out a class. It is an extra charge on the membership because you are working with a trainer in a small group setting, but trust us- it’s well worth it! And not that expensive compared to our industry’s standard of a one-hour personal training session…

What you’ll find in a TRX class? A combination of lower body, upper body, core and cardio exercises. We always go over the principles of TRX in the beginning. One key point I personally like to talk about is how to make it HARDER! I always demonstrate the 3 principles, my favorite being the vector principle. By changing the vector between you and the ground, you can take a simple exercise to a whole new level. You can also change the stability by taking one foot off the ground and lastly change the difficulty by stepping out further from the straps’ neutral hanging position.

Normally, the class is formatted with progressive movements. You start with a squat and later in the class, you make it harder by, say, taking one foot off the floor to do a one-legged squat. So fun!

This past weekend, I had my TRX class at the W3 in Downers Grove step it up a notch. We STARTED with the progressive movements and made them even more difficult. Their favorite, all of whom had never done it before, was a TRX burpee! We’ll shoot a video this upcoming weekend, so you can see how W3 rocks it out on a Saturday morning!

Intrigued yet? Come try out a class! The benefits are amazing- for strengthening your muscles, truly engaging your core, losing weight, getting FIT, gaining energy and feeling better. And hey- it’s almost bikini season, and if your current workout isn’t cutting it, I would say it’s time to try this cutting-edge small group exercise class! It’s time to TRX!

Stay fit~ See you soon~

Women’s Workout & Wellness

Spring into Fitness at W3!

The big “New Year’s rush” is over…but summertime is almost here! So what does that mean? It’s REALLY time to get in shape. Pressure is on for beach/swimsuit season, not to mention the weddings, vacations, graduation parties, summer bbqs and more that await our agendas during the summer. It’s fun, but it’s also nerve-racking if we slacked off a bit during the winter months (especially these winter months in Chicago- it’s May and it’s 50 degrees outside!) So, with the weather (hopefully) attempting to warm up outside, it’s time to get serious and really take some time to focus on ourselves.

Besides the ever-so-popular Zumba, Turbokick, HardBody and CardioFlex classes at Women’s Workout & Wellness, you can also find a variety of bootcamps, challenges and functional training programs going on that are changing the lives of women across Chicago- helping them lose weight, tone up, increase their strength and cardiovascular levels, feel better and more energized, and just overall GET IN SHAPE! Before we talk a little bit about what these programs consist of, I just wanted to share a few comments we have heard from some members across our W3 locations. One 4-Week Summer Shape Up Challenge member from the Downers Grove W3 said she can’t even begin to explain how these workouts make her feel- not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well. She decided the 4 weeks wasn’t enough for her and enrolled in this program for a minimum of 3 months! Good for her!

Another member from the W3 on Monroe St. in the Loop had to put another hole in her belt… not to make it looser, of course, but to make it tighter! Her belt has now become too big. She thanked her trainer for the great workouts so far. Yes, it’s the trainer’s motivating training style and amazing workouts, but she has put in a lot of work and has amazing fat loss results to show for it. Can’t wait to see her before and after picture side to side! Only a few weeks left of her bootcamp. Unbelievable RESULTS coming soon!

Intrigued yet?

We could write blog post after blog post of amazing success stories followed by pictures to show the results these women have received, and we will continue to do so because we know this program is what will help women across Chicago get fit and HEALTHY. What’s so great about it? It’s the functional training style of classes. Women join our group functional training program for various reasons: to lose weight, reduce fat and inches, gain muscle tone, feel better, get rid of pain, gain energy, sleep better, and more! And they are getting what they asked for. We use our functional “toys” and carefully designed workouts to produce amazing results. Some of our toys include ropes, slam balls, kettle bells, Bosus, TRX suspension training, plyo boxes, val slides, bands, superbands, monster tires, and more. Have you seen the Biggest Loser? Then you know exactly what we are talking about.

Check out our video HERE to understand  a little bit more about functional training. Come check it out for yourself- whether you are a member of Women’s Workout & Wellness or someone looking for a gym/program to join, we have a challenge, bootcamp or program for you! Non-members are welcome to enroll in a program for 4 weeks or more, depending on our current promotion. Call today- you’ll be amazed.

What are YOUR results? Be our next success story. Call or visit us today!

~Women’s Workout & Wellness~

Why Do We Insist on ONE Hour Workouts? Quality over Quantity!

Where did this misconception come from that we must workout for exactly ONE hour? I’m going to do weights for 30 minutes then hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes… Or I’m going to take a 45-minute class and then do 15 extra minutes of cardio…or I’m going to divide up my 1 hour of cardio into 20-minute segments on different machines, so I don’t get bored.. we’ve all been there, but do we know why? Why do we think we didn’t have a great gym session unless we stayed on the elliptical for at least 60 minutes? This is a very common misconception with people who exercise regardless of if their goal is to lose weight, get healthy, stay healthy, tone, etc. Let’s crack this weight loss myth!

First, it is important to realize that no workout is a bad workout. If you’re debating coming into W3 to workout, and you decide not to for reasons other than an injury or sickness, you will most likely regret it later (but you’ll never regret a workout). So, coming to the gym for 30 minutes is definitely better than not at all. But the question is still “why do we think that 60 minutes is necessary?” Maybe it was a goal that you decided to work up to, starting out at walking at 10 minutes and now you can do the elliptical for 60 minutes- great! But it may not be necessary. Quality over quantity in exercise oftentimes fares better than thinking how long you exercise is going to allow you to achieve your goals. Especially for weight loss, lifting a 10 lb dumbbell 10x over a 2 lb dumbbell 30x is going to get you results a lot faster. The quality of lifting a heavier weight will build your muscle, increase your metabolism and therefore, aid in your weight loss a lot faster.

Lastly, to demonstrate our point that a longer workout (such as 60 minutes) vs. a shorter workout is not necessarily better is the concept of HIIT- high intensity interval training. A lot of W3’s small group functional training is based around this concept of bringing your heart rate up for quick intervals and then back down again. The benefits of high intensity interval training and the speed at which this helps you achieve your goals far outnumber other types of exercise, such as steady state cardio on a treadmill. (and these workouts are definitely less than 60 minutes!) The benefits of HIIT, such as Tabata training, include time- efficient workouts, fat-burning during and after workouts, healthy heart, and weight loss (not muscle loss!) The fact of the matter is that during these short, intense workouts, most of your weight loss is coming from fat stores whereas steady-state cardio usually burns at least some muscle. If you’re looking to lose weight, just remember that longer does not always mean better, and you don’t have to stick to any specific (60 minute) rule. Get a good, strength training, fat-burning workout in, and you’re good to go. If you haven’t already, just try one of our functional training workouts. Don’t be intimidated. There are levels and modifications for everyone. Just try it- you’ll be amazed by how you feel afterwards and the results your body will see, too!