3 Biggest Workout Program Mistakes + How to Fix Them

3 COMMON TRAINING PROGRAM MISTAKES + HOW TO FIX THEM

FIRSTLY…

A training program should have PURPOSE. You’re following it for a specific reason, I hope… These days almost anyone can be a “personal trainer.” But let’s be real, just because someone does a workout themselves, likes it and puts it on their Instagram, or worse on paper and SELLS it, DOES NOT MEAN THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE DOING THAT. It also does not mean it is a proper program.

A training program should be progressive, should work towards a specific goal, and in my professional option should be functional. If that’s not your jam, well then by all means go buy the 6 week summer shred from literally any insta-famous fit chick. But if you want to learn, and train with purpose, this one’s for you sister.

These five things are typically missing from most workout, fitness, or training programs. I have come to find this through my own clients telling about other programs they’ve tried, as well as purchasing and trying programs myself.

First up…

NO PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD

Most online programs and training templates in general are 4-8 weeks long and then they end. Then you jump onto a new program each month, but the phases don’t build on one another.

You will not improve if you do not use progressive overload somehow. Progressive overload refers to overloading your body in comparison to what it has previously experienced. You can do this through tempo, sets and reps (volume), increasing weight, or decreasing rest periods. There are many ways to use progressive overload in order to make gains. These are just a few of the big ones.

So if you’re not told to add weight, or reps, slow down your tempo, or decrease rest periods, you are likely NOT using progressive overload and need a new program.

Progressive overload does NOT mean to try crap loads different exercises every time your enter the gym. Which leads me to my next point…

LACK OF CONSISTENCY (TOO FANCY)

Most workout programs try to be too fancy. Perhaps the creator thinks they need to change things up weekly, or even every day. And again, if you like that type of training, you do you boo. Just don’t expect to get REALLY good at anything when you focus on everything (which is really focusing on nothing).

How do we measure progress in strength or movement quality or pain reduction if we do not train some of the same movements consistently? You can’t! Movement patterns are skills. Skills need repetition in order to improve.

Yes, muscles need to be surprised and challenged from new angles. But for the most part, functional, compound movements will get you what you’re looking for in terms of strength and physique. Be consistent, and embrace getting GOOD at a few movements. It all goes back to mastering the basics. If you have not yet done so, there is LITERALLY no need to get fancy. Unless you’re into getting injured.

NOT FUNCTIONALLY FOCUSED OR BALANCED 

Listen, movement and workouts for most humans just need to be balanced. You spend the majority of your day sitting, or unaware of the way your body moves (or doesn’t move).

Often times, workout programs are created with a heavy “bodybuilding” focus. Are you trying to be a body builder? Or live functionally for the rest of your life? If you’re trying to be a body builder, then duh, follow a body building program. But if you’re a normal chick who wants to lift weights, get stronger, and move functionally, then you should be doing that.

HOW IS YOUR CURRENT PROGRAM DOING? 

Does it prescribe enough rest, or are you working out 2 hours a day and drinking juices for 28 days long?

Is it functionally focused?

Does it provide consistency but still include progressive overload?

If yes, then girl you’ve got yourself a kick ass program.

If not, then I have just thing.

CWF GYM training guide is a 12 week progressive strength and hypertrophy program designed with these principles in mind. And it will change the way you look at “workout” programs forever. (Shameless plug)

 

Contact me at carlawestfitness@gmail.com for more information

Should You Be Sore After Every Workout?

TO BE SORE OR NOT TO BE SORE?

Should you be sore after every workout? How often should you be sore?

To start off, no, you should not be sore after every workout.

WHAT IS MUSCLE SORENESS?

If you’re not sore it doesn’t count, you didn’t work hard enough. This is an old myth and it’s simply not true. Muscle soreness is PRIMARILY due to micro tears in your muscle fibers. This is what the muscles have to recover from and literally heal from when you experience soreness.

DO YOU HAVE TO BE SORE TO GROW MUSCLE?

Nope.

All you need to do to grow new muscle is to stress that muscle more than it has been stressed or stress it in a new way to elicit a growth response.

This CAN happen without actually feeling sore. You must also remember that feeling sore is a pain receptor response. So, this can vary greatly from person to person and muscle group to muscle group.

When you feel sore, you have in a sense, damaged the muscle fibers and it needs to recover in order to (ideally) come back stronger.

“Also, if your aim is to build muscle there are essentially 3 major mechanisms – i.e. muscle damage (which we usually think about), mechanical stress (which is like stretching an elastic band, think about how the weight stretches or force down your arm as you try to pull it up) and then lastly there is a mechanism called “metabolic stress”. This metabolic stress is produced by increased volume (i.e. maybe like 20-40 rep sets) which leads to you depleting your readily available energy sources and subsequently results in a stimulus for growth. (if you are really interested, please see (The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training, a scientific paper).” – JD Conradie

Lastly, if your aim is to become stronger, then the amount of weight you use is more important than the amount of repetitions and normally produce less muscle damage and soreness, however, rest is still essential as the rest of your body systems (i.e. nervous system) will need to recover successfully to see improvement and perform optimally.

SO WHEN IS IT OKAY TO FEEL SORENESS?

Don’t get me wrong, feeling sore is okay and it should happen. But not after every workout. If you’re sore after every workout, you’re likely not recovering and building new muscle. This is not what you want if strength or muscle gains is any part of your fitness goal.

You’re expected to feel sore when you start a new phase. This is because you will be loading the muscles in a new manner (doing different exercises) or for a different amount of volume/intensity (more sets or more time under tension). This is when you can expect to feel sore.

If you are eating optimally and getting adequate sleep, you can expect to feel minor soreness after each workout. I wouldn’t even call this soreness. The level of soreness I am talking about is the kind that you may not even notice until you start warming up and stretching the area the next day or two.

So any time you change up your training, you may experience soreness. But you absolutely 100% do not need to feel muscle soreness to make gains my friend.

“It is also important to be aware and know when to push and know when to manage. You do not always have to perform at your best and produce PBs, it is good to push and perhaps have 1-2 weeks of decrease volume/amount of training to enable the body to adapt and train. Think of it this way, if your goal is to build muscle you are essentially building a new structure. For this structure you need builders (Enzymes, other proteins), materials (amino acids, energy), a plan (DNA, RNA) , stimulus or a manager (exercise) and time (rest).”  – JD Conradie

My BIG Project reveal | The CWF Real life nutrition guide

Everything you need to know about it!

 

It’s been a long time coming….. and I swore I would never open that can of worms, or cross that bridge but here we are….

 The first ever CWF meal plan and nutrition guide is finally here! 🎉🎉

50 pages of information and education written by yours truly to fully help you understand your body, nutrition and how to meal plan! 

It includes 2 MEAL PLANS with detailed macro friendly meals, focusing a lot on micro nutrients and woman’s health. 

WHY you ask? And why NOW?

Because after a few weeks into the first challenge, the girls were killing it, smashing their workouts but the ONE thing holding them back was nutrition? “They could’ve gotten better results if their nutrition was better”, “workouts were great, but my nutrition wasn’t” and I wanted to change that. 

By providing a detailed informational healthy eating plan, that if you are in the middle of exams, started a new job, moved house and everything in between you have your plan and your meals prepared and zero excuses! 

In this Ebook, you will find:

Table of contents

What you won’t find in this book:

  • Difficult to follow, time-consuming recipes which long lists of glorified ‘superfood’ ingredients that you have to source from a niche supermarket or foreign country.
  • A restrictive set of dietary rules, health fads or extreme diets.

Few important notes: 

1. By purchasing this ebook, you will receive a discount code to get R100 off any product off the @naturesnutritionsawebsite.
2. If you purchase this, you will get any of my other 2 training ebooks HALF PRICE! (Next week only!)
3. If you have already purchased my training ebooks and partook in my first challenge you can get the other ebook for half price (when purchasing this one) (Next week only)

This plan will go on sale on Monday, the 6th of August. 🎉🎉🎉🎉

To buy the guide

https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/2057576590960441/

or
Email me at carlawestfitness@gmail.com for more info

 

WHAT EXERCISE EXCUSES ARE YOU MAKING?

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We all have exercise excuses we’re often unaware of. We put the alarm clock on snooze, forget our gym clothes at home, or simply don’t make the time to fit in that exercise class. But what if I told you that for all the common exercise excuses out there, I have a bunch of solutions…

Firstly, if you try rebounding, I can almost guarantee that exercise excuses will be a thing of the past.

EXERCISE EXCUSE 1: I’M TOO TIRED TO EXERCISE

The feeling of impending doom is sometimes all too real when anticipating your gym session at the end of the day. A lack of sleep, lack of exercise and lack of nutritious foods can also add exhaustion to a busy schedule

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT 

  • Make the commitment. You’re also too tired to wake up for work, but you still go! Exercise needs to rank high on the list of priorities.
  • You will never regret a workout, unless you’re feeling unwell. But generally, it gives you a guaranteed good feeling once you’re done.
  • Just show up. If the thought of a really tough or intense workout is putting you off, just make it your goal to arrive – doing a little versus doing your whole session is still better than nothing. Once you’re there you can decide how much you’re up for, and chances are your energy levels will pick up and you’ll forget you were tired!
  • Try low impact exercise. It helps to energise and oxygenate the body. Exercise also helps regulate circadian rhythms and can improve your quality of sleep.

EXERCISE EXCUSE 2: I DON’T HAVE TIME 

Between demanding schedules, traveling, working two jobs or perhaps kids, it really can feel like there’s simply no time for exercise. But I’m here to tell you otherwise!

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT 

  • Make a choice and prioritise exercise. It needs to be one of your non-negotiables like brushing your teeth. Our bodies are designed to move and exercise helps us to feel more energised, to build strength and stay healthy. Remember why you need to do it when you’re tempted to skip!
  • Commit to 20 minutes. You can torch serious calories in just 20 minutes of exercise if you’re prepared to get intense. And anybody can make time for 20 minutes, right? CWF Home workout are perfect for just that! You can buy it here! CWF Home ebook
  • Make the effort to prepare before bed. A 20-minute session of meal-planning and packing gym clothes is often all it takes to make your morning run smoother.
  • Make one activity on the weekend fitness based. Go for a family run on the beach or a challenging hike to a pretty destination instead of watching a movie. You’ll sneak in an extra workout, and have less to try fit into the working week.

EXERCISE EXCUSE 3: IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE 

Most people associate exercise with two things – gym contracts and personal trainers. And both of those can be pricey. But that isn’t the only way to exercise!

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

  • Explore free options: You’d be surprised at the free exercise opportunities available in your area!
  • Train at home. This is one of the best and easiest options. You can find free online sessions, no gym clothes required, and only minimal equipment is needed. Fitness DVDs are also a big help, or ebooks like my CWF Home ebook on my e-store. CWF Home ebook for sale

 

EXERCISE EXCUSE 4: I DON’T KNOW HOW TO EXERCISE PROPERLY 

Exercise feels like a big time waster when you’re not sure how to perform specific moves or even which exercises to do in the first place. Gyms can often feel intimidating for this very reason.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

  • Attend fitness classes: the trainers are in charge of keeping you in check.
  • Exercise with an informed friend. Shadowing someone who knows what they’re doing gives you a good guideline of what to do and how to use specific machines.
  • Follow youtube tutorials – any information provided by a professional is going to touch on good form.

EXERCISE EXCUSE 5: I DON’T SEE RESULTS QUICK ENOUGH

The truth is, quick fixes such as extreme exercise plans or fad diets, seldom work. I always say there’s no magic formula when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and feeling your best. The trick is to accept this and find something you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like hard work, but rather slots into your lifestyle.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

  • Choose a better reason for being fit: health, energy and happiness are stronger reinforcements than simply looking in the mirror, especially when visual results take their time.
  • Be patient. True healthy habits are a slow burn; energy will creep up slowly, kilos will drop off slowly. Don’t expect immediate results.
  • Take a selfie – it’s true! Photo evidence really is the best way to measure your success, especially when it’s slow.
  • Make sure you set a goal and know how to achieve it. Ask a fitness friend what type of exercise you need to be doing to get the look you want. This will prevent you wasting time on moves that don’t earn results.

EXERCISE EXCUSE 6: I’M TOO OLD TO EXERCISE

With arthritis, potential osteoporosis and brittle bones often getting the better of us, it’s easy to think that exercise will only do further damage or aggravate pain. Plus, many of us have old injuries from school sports that tend to flare up later.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT 

  • Remember that exercise is the number one preventative against a list of illnesses. It is a form of defense you can’t afford to neglect.
  • Stiffness and soreness is normal after a few initial sessions, you need to push through for a few weeks to really feel the benefits and even alleviate pain.
  • With ageing comes a loss in muscle mass, and bone density lessens as a result. Exercise is crucial in building muscle strength, strong bones, improving posture, helping us heal quicker from injury, improving range of motion, improving balance and preventing falls.

Carla West Fitness ebook FAQ!!

Hello there! I don’t know if you realized but I launched the CWF challenge on the 7th of May, one of first and many challenges to come. It has been going really well so far and we have a bunch of girls that are in week 4/half way with the plan already and I couldn’t be more proud of them!!

On the 4th of June the Ebook will go on sale to ‘the public’, you will have the opportunity to start the program at any time you wish, be added to the motivational Facebook group, which I have to admit is the highlight of this challenge! haha

The next challenge will be on the 1st of October as our ultimate Summer prep!

Here are some FAQ’s to help you out!

Nummuro Uno:

Q: What is the difference between partaking in a challenge compared to just buying the ebook?

A: With the 8 week challenge I’ll be doing it with you and be there every step of the way, constant check in’s, measurements, photo’s, constant feed back etc.

2. Q: Will there be a Meal/Nutrition plan included?

A: No there is not a Meal/nutrition plan included in these ebook, but there are nutrition advice included. We are currently writing a meal plan that will be sold separately from the 1st of August.

3. Q: When & where will the ebook be sold?

A: For now the ebook will be opened to the public on Monday the 4th of June, and will be be sold on my facebook page until my website will be upgraded. 🙂

4. Q: Can I do it anywhere in the world?

A: Yes! This plan is sold online and can be done anywhere in the world. We currently have girls in Cape Town, Joburg, Durban, Germany, USA and Dubai doing the plan.

5. Q: What is the difference between the Home and Gym workout program? Without the fact that you need a gym of course.

A: The home workout is more circuit based and better for fat burning. The gym program is more for muscle building and losing body fat at the same time to shape an athletic body.

6. Q: What equipment will I need for the home plan?

A: For V.1 you won’t need anything except an exercise mat.

7. Q: What happens after the 8 weeks?

A: We are currently writing V.2 of the gym program which will be an more advanced, athletic program and V.2 of the home program, a home program with equipment you can purchase for your home gym. More info coming soon 🙂

8. Q: What makes this different to any other program?

A: My favorite question, this is not a “fatloss” or an “introduction to weights” program, this is a lifestyle program. Something you can continue months and years after you purchased it, because it is not based on fads and trends but the 3 principles of having a healthy body. Strength, Endurance and Mobility. The most important things I’ve learned over the years is that 1 or 2 of those without the others have no benefit. You need all 3, and that is why I am so passionate about this program and how it aligns with my values.

9. Q: Payments methods:

A: Internationally you can pay with Paypal, and if you are local to South Africa you can do an EFT.

10. Q: Price?

A: The ebook by itself will cost R300 – 20€ – 25USD – 20GBP

Challenges: R500 – 35€ – 40USD – 30 GBP

 

I hope to have these products listed on my website very soon!

If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to email me at carlawestfitness@gmail.com.

Here’s a slideshow of some of the reviews so far:

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All my love!

 

Challenge series: “Cheat” meals

What if I told you girls, that you could cheat, guilt-free, and it would actually be good for you?

That’s because under the right circumstances, a “cheat meal” has been proven to boost your metabolism and ward off feelings of deprivation—improving not only your ability to lose weight, but your ability to stick to your diet plan as well!

1 Planning

Having a strategy is a key part of a cheat meal. Plan when and what you’re going to eat. This also allows you to really pick a favorite food instead of wasting calories on something you didn’t enjoy.

Important with planning is also to make sure you eat one high-quality, high-protein meal before your cheat, preferably with high-fiber, low-starch veggies to slow down digestion. A big green salad with simple grilled chicken breast and a squeeze of lemon, for example, would be an ideal pre-cheat meal because it maximizes satiety for the lowest amount of calories.

You won’t be starving when it’s time to feast, and you’ll still have your entire daily “allowance” of carbohydrates and fats in the bank.

2 Earn the Burn

When your body senses a calorie deficit, leptin levels drop, prompting the metabolism to slow down and conserve energy. Throwing a calorie-rich cheat meal into the mix tricks your system into thinking food is plentiful and that it’s OK to burn through fat stores. In the context of strict dieting, cheat meals can aid weight loss by temporarily boosting leptin. Another trick to minimize fat gains from your cheat meal is to deplete your glycogen stores—the sugar in your system that your body burns up for energy.

Why does it work? The body won’t store carbohydrate as body fat until its glycogen reserves are full, so the emptier your tank, the more room you have for, say, spaghetti, before it ends up on your thighs. How do you do it? Hit the gym before your cheat meal (ideally before you eat anything that day). High-rep circuit style workouts are the best depletion workouts. Even 20 minutes can make a dent.

Want an extra boost? Have a cup of black coffee before your sweat-sesh. Studies show caffeine can increase fat metabolism when taken as a pre-workout supplement.

3 Cheat in Moderation

There’s a cheat meal and there’s a cheat day(s). And the latter—going nuts on the weekend because you’ve been on-point with your diet during the week—is never a good idea. If you’re serious about losing weight, limit yourself to one cheat meal per week. Pick a date, a meal time and a restaurant; and put it in the diary.

5 Order a Few Rounds

… A few rounds of water, that is. Restaurant meals tend to be high in sodium, which throws off antidiuretic hormones—chemicals that control how much you urinate—and can leave you feeling dehydrated and bloated. Start replenishing your body while you indulge with a few large glasses of water. Ask the waiter for a few lemon wedges, too. Citrus fruits are rich in the antioxidant de-limonene, a powerful compound found in the peel that stimulates liver enzymes to help flush toxins from the body and gives sluggish bowels a kick.

6 When to cheat?

Dragging in the Gym? Treat Yourself!

This tip might seem like the most counter intuitive of all. If you’ve had three or four bad workouts in a row, it may be that your body is glycogen depleted or in need of other nutrients. Cheat your face off, and see what happens. You might find that a plate of Alfredo will improve your morale and get you back in your groove. Just don’t treat every gym plateau with ice cream. It’s much healthier to try listening to a new Spotify playlist first.

 

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Challenge series: 1. PRE & POST WORKOUT MEAL IDEAS

Have you ever wondered what you should eat before and after a workout? We all know how important nutrition is but in my opinion, there is too much information out there on healthy eating. It’s nearly impossible to sort through in order to know how to eat for your results. That’s exactly what my goal is with my Challenge series… SIMPLIFY & SOLVE!

SIMPLIFY: with the Internet’s information overload, I always want to help simplify the copious amount of food advice out there. Below, I’ll cut to to the chase of what I eat pre and post workout as well as why I do so.

SOLVE: when you come to my blog, it’s likely because you have something you’d like solved (ex: what’s a new idea I can find for the gym, is there a full workout I can follow, should I try a new recipe, where can I get meal prep advice) I enjoy following fashion bloggers to solve my problem of what should I wear/buy. It’s not because I cannot put together an outfit, but they solve my problem quicker. That’s what I always hope my posts do the same for you… provide solutions!

 

PRE & POST WORKOUT MEAL IDEAS

 

PRE WORKOUT MEAL IDEAS

WHAT I LOOK FOR IN A PRE-WORKOUT MEAL

Balanced Meal: the first thing I think of as I put together a meal before my workout is to keep it balanced from a macro nutrient standpoint. Recall the 3 macro nutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates. Each macro nutrient serves a purpose in a meal. Before I workout, I want the benefits of all three. Protein will be useful for muscle recovery, carbohydrates will give us the energy needed in a workout and fat will slow the overall digestion of the meal so that these benefits will last throughout our workout.

Nourishing not Heavy: prior to a workout, it’s important to eat a meal that is nourishing and will fill you without being heavy. Think of trying to workout after a Christmas dinner feast. I think light and nourishing for a pre-workout meal.

Stay Away from Sugary Foods: this is something I do to keep from feeling those blood sugar spikes. You’re already trying to keep the meal balanced but for the sake of stable energy, this isn’t the time to enjoy some candy or ice cream (save that for post-workout!)

Timing: I like to enjoy my pre-workout meal about 1 hour prior to training. Everyone metabolizes food at different rates so this timing may be something you need to adjust to best fit you. For me, I’ll eat then head to the gym about 20 minutes after that and my gym commute is about an additional 20 minutes, so after parking, walking into the gym and starting, that’s about 1 hour.  (although I know I can train straight after a big meal, other people need to digest longer, so don’t worry if this isn’t the way it works out).

PRE-WORKOUT MEAL EXAMPLES

1) Avo Egg Toast: 2 slices Ezekiel/whole wheat bread toast + 1/4 avocado + 2 fried eggs

2) 3 scrambled eggs, feta cheese, 1 slice whole wheat bread.

3) 2 hard boiled eggs, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 apple

this is my go-to pre-workout meal 

I do realize, these all contain eggs, i’m an egg lover. If you are coming straight from work and don’t have time to stop at home or don’t eat eggs. Here are some more options:

  1. Hand full of nuts and dried fruit
  2. Beef jerky/biltong and dried fruit
  3. Banana and nut butter
  4. Carrot sticks and Hummus’s

POST-WORKOUT MEAL IDEAS

WHAT I LOOK FOR IN A POST-WORKOUT MEAL

Protein Protein Protein: this is where you want to ensure you’re getting your protein in. There are a lot of different opinions on how quickly you need to consume protein post-workout Some say as quickly as 15-30 minutes; I like to shoot for having sufficient protein within an hour of my workout. Most times, this works out for me so that I can get home and eat a meal. If I have to run errands after my workout, I’ll be sure to bring protein powder and have a protein shake after my workout. Do whatever works best for you! Protein is important for aiding in muscle recovery.

Hey Carbs, Hey: the fun thing after a workout is that our bodies are craving carbs. Think of carbs purely as energy. During a workout, we deplete our glycogen stores (the body’s storage form of carbohydrates) and they need replenishing. If you have a higher carb meal in your day, make it your post workout meal! I like the meal after my workout to have substantial, filling carbs. Carbs not only aid in muscle recovery but also speed up recovery.

Time to Treat: if there is any time of the day I would *suggest* as the best time to enjoy a treat, it would be after your workout.  It’s about timing and portions. A post-workout meal is where I would add in a treat on track if I’m going to in a day.

POST-WORKOUT MEAL EXAMPLES

1) protein shake + handful of cashews + granola bar

^this is an example of a post-workout meal I would have if I need to run errands after my workout or can’t get home to make a meal (=easy to eat in a car lol)

2) chicken/bacon salad + bowl of popcorn with salted caramel dark chocolate in it. (MY guilty pleasure)

^this is an example of a post-workout meal I would have when I wanted to include a treat

3) A warm cooked meal, salmon and veggies. My favorite meal ever ever. My recipe link.

GARLIC BUTTER BAKED SALMON IN FOIL

^this is an example of a post-workout meal I would enjoy most nights

IT’S ABOUT ALL 24 HOURS

Healthy eating is a marathon not a sprint. I hope this post helps you gain a deeper understanding of how certain macro nutrients can benefit you more based on timing. However, I want to make sure I mention the importance of eating well in all 24 hours of the day. It’s not just about a meal or two that will help us see results, it’s about eating well consistently!

More posts following soon!!

 

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Here’s a little secret, I’m actually allergic to soft serve ice cream and I didn’t take one lick of this but gave it to the photographer. Just thought if would make for a good photo op. #guilty