From Average to Athlete – Taking your fitness to the next level

1.24.2013

This is a follow up post of my article from last year “How I Got in Shape after Kids, The Healthy Way!” . I was reading that post and I realized I had accomplished most my fitness goals. Wow! It’s weird to think doing a 5K and climbing 5.9-5.10 solid were my goals because now that I can do them I realize I need to update my goals for the coming year! I think this post will relate to many people that are setting new fitness goals themselves. If you’re trying to shed baby weight this year read the post above! If you are trying to take your level of fitness up a notch and you are already a healthy weight, keep reading!

” ALSO I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH – If you are overweight, please read the article above. I STRONGLY believe in a two phase program to get in shape. FIRST, getting to a healthy weight and THEN doing the harder work it takes to get into that athletic category. MANY people make the mistake of doing the same intense program a person that is already at a healthy weight is doing to get into that athletic physique category which is not feasible for LIFELONG fitness. If you are overweight and trying to get to a healthy weight – Be glad, because as will see below – going from Average to Athlete is NOT easy!! “

I just realized this post is SUPER long so here’s the main points:

 – If you are a healthy weight but looking to get in peak shape it is more complicated and difficult.

1. Go to your local gym and get a Body Composition Test and Fitness Assessment.

2. Figure out your specific goal.

3. Figure out exactly what you are going to change to reach that goal with both diet and exercise.

4. If you are unsure how to do that, invest in Beachbody Coaching, a fitness program such as T25/P90x or Insanity. You can check out my website here and contact me to get advice on what program to choose to fit your lifestyle –www.beachbodycoach.com/KRISTINICOLE87

(Here is a photo I got taken of me shortly after reaching my postpartum fitness goals. Idk why I’m so shy about posting full body photos of myself…but it kinda weirds me out!! I was really proud of what I had accomplished up to that point. THIS was my STARTING POINT . I was AVERAGE – about 24% body fat. My goal was 19% to become athletic)

Since that post last March I’ve kept a very regular range of 110-115pds. (Usually I am 112pds) This is obviously a very healthy average weight for me. (I am 5’2”) Now that I have reached a regular healthy weight and met my fitness goals I’ve started to wonder..now what? If I don’t have a visible goal to work for I get lazy. So I asked myself what do I want to accomplish? For one, I want to be able to run longer and faster. I’d like to make a goal to run a 10K which I have never done. I’d also still like to do a sprint tri as well as do more lead climbing.

One thing I know about climbing is that weight to muscle ratio is very important. This is why professional climbers are never bulky. Lean yet muscular is the way to be for long multi-pitch endurance routes which is what Alex and I enjoy to do. So the first thing I decided I need to do was get an in-depth calculation of my body fat percentage and go from there.

First I went to my gym, the YMCA and completed a free fitness assessment and body comp. Through this I learned a lot about myself that can’t be seen on a scale alone. I learned that my bone density is a bit low so I should be taking calcium. I also learned that my body fat percentage was 23.5% and I am a #5 Physique Rating (Shown below) This kinda sucks because it means I need to slim down a bit as well as put on more muscle…makes me wish I was a #7!! Dang you skinny people!

Physique Ratings

1. Small Frame Obese     

        Hidden Obese (“Skinny Fat”)  

               

2.     Medium Frame Obese 

          Obese

                        

3.     Large Frame Obese  

          Solidly Built

                 

4.     Low Muscle &

        Average Body Fat Under Exercised

      

5.     Average Muscle &

        Average Body Fat

          Standard 

6.     High Muscle & Average Body Fat       7      Thin Low Muscle &  Low Fat      8      Thin & Muscular (Athlete)

  

9      Very Muscular (Athlete)

      

After looking at that and doing a bit of research I found that an athletic body fat percentage is between 14-20%. Also on the physique rating a #8  means you have lower than average body fat and adequate muscle. A #9 is lower than average body fat and higher than average muscle. Those were the only two “Athlete” categories. This has helped me to narrow down my goal for what it is going to take to get into that “Athlete” category. (As a side note I never plan on making 14% my goal. I’ll be shooting for 20%)

I thought this diagram was pretty cool because this body type looked very similar to mine. (Mesomorph Body Type) If you are not sure about your body type you should research that! It will help you to learn more about yourself and set realistic goals based on your body type. Most models are ectomorphs not mesomorphs but most of the population are mesomorphs…true!

Here is a great resource that gives information on body shapes vs. body types and what it means for you.

http://www.femaleforlife.com.au/Body-Shapes-Types/

And a calculator for those that love quizzes:

http://www.femaleforlife.com.au/Body-Shapes-Types/Calculator.htm

Now..whats the plan??

Most people when making fitness goals find out what they need to change but don’t make a concrete plan of how to do it. If your answer to how your going to get in shape sounds like, “I’m going to go to the gym more.” or “I’m going to eat clean” your most likely not going to keep it up for long. If you want to reach a goal it’s much easier with specifics such as “I will run ___ times a week for a total of ___ miles and do interval weight training ___ times.”

After doing a TON of research as well as FINALLY popping in my p90x CD that I’ve had for 3 years I am totally inspired! One thing I love to do is find patterns in things and apply that in my own way. One major pattern I’ve noticed in ALL fitness programs is eating a low-carb diet. No I’m not talking about Atkins Diet stuff and going into Ketosis and all that crazy crap. I’m talking about simply being more aware of the amount of carbohydrates I eat. Paleo, P90X, Nutrisystem, Sarah Dussault of sarafit.com, Jillian Michaels and many more all have lower carb intake as a normal part of their meal plans. If you look closer into P90X’s nutrition plan it doesn’t bump up the amount of carbs until you have reach an Athletic physique. And only for the sole purpose of being able to push the body even harder and further! So really, unless you are an elite athlete you should be carb conscious…for life!!

This is phase 1 of the P90X nutrition plan based on your energy level. I like this because it can be applied to anything you eat.

I know this might be too much information BUT after doing this for a couple weeks I started to get confused. I looked at nutrition labels like crazy and would read, “Carbohydrates – 20g 7%” OMG that’s a lot of carbs! But then I started to wonder what is a lot of carbs in grams? This is what I found:

How Many Carbs per day Should You Eat for Weight Loss?

<50g carbs = fast weightloss, Ketosis, Atkins Diet

50-100g carbs = moderate weightloss, Paleo, healthy

100-150g carbs = gradual weightloss, healthy

 http://www.livestrong.com/article/223225-how-many-grams-of-carbs-per-day-to-lose-weight/

 As I have talked about before, I truly feel like anything that allows for fast weight loss is either not healthy or is weight you will put back on easily when you stop , as in fasting for example. So try not to go below 50g of carbs per day.

Through all this research and defining my own goals I have come up with my own meal plan complete with original recipes and photos which you can view [HERE]. And guess what?? It’s FREE!! LOL I think it’s funny that if you try to look up these fitness guru’s meal plans they cost $$. I guess everyone has to make money somehow… but seeing as I’m not famous yet…you can have my meal plan for 0$! Now that’s a good deal hahaha. Basically I started this because as a foodie, I’ve got a big problem… I have to eat food that tastes good. I know…sounds crazy. But after trying to make some of the foods from P90X and others I was grossed out and unsatisfied! One fitness guru I love is Sarah Dussault from sarafit.com. She is so real and seems so approachable. I can see how she has gotten so popular! BUT her recipes?? Not so good. Her pancakes are always burnt (medium heat honey!!) and all the recipes with canned tuna is just totally EW!! I know I sound like a food snob but in a way I kinda AM!! I like food that is fresh and delicious and I’ll be bringing that to YOU with my own kitchen tested healthy recipes!

So in a nutshell, am I happy with my body? YES! I love my body, and yes it has many flaws, and I’m not trying to look like someone else. But with my goals being to get in even better shape and go from “average” to “athlete” these are the changes I’m making to get there! Like Jenzten Franklin always said, “If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done!”

Wish me luck and good luck to all of you in your journeys to reach your own fitness goals !!

I would love to hear your comments or questions or just hear about your own goals for 2014!!

AND FOR AN UPDATE!! I DID IT! After 5 weeks, I went from 24% Body fat percentage to 19%. I felt and looked great and even reached my functional fitness goals of being able to climb 5.10 routes.

Before and After

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