Training Advice: Quality Over Quantity Any Day!

by Marianne  - May 27, 2013

Hey everyone,

The other day I decided to make a few “short” videos to discuss topics that I feel will help a lot of people understand the sorts of things they should consider when trying to achieve certain fitness goals.

Today, I talk about how “more” is not always better. Hope you enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚




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  1. Hi there M!

    Just wanted to know – are you still doing intermittent fasting? Would you please write an updated post about it, your thoughts on it and so on?! Just started researching it and am curious. Trust your judgment so Iยดd like your opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hey, Nia Shanks and I are broadcasting a hangout on this very topic and she is writing a blog on her updated opinions. We will be discussing our experiences (good and bad) this wed (June 26th) and will post it after.

  2. Crucial post! I get sucked into this time and time again, but have to keep reminding myself “No, girl, you’re 41, you have auto-immune arthritis, and if you think you’re going to work out six times a week without any ill effects, you’re trippin’.” I’m actually just coming out of a week-long break from working out as I had been doing five-day a week routines and I was so shattered one day I couldn’t even work out for 15 minutes without my body shaking so badly I thought I’d collapse. I need to chill, seriously, so I take the time off when I need it.

    I am pretty strict on eating clean (mostly due to the fact I was hardly eating ANYTHING and was in too much pain to move, which put me into the current mess of being overweight), but I love cooking. So I cook as healthily as I can. I love lifting weights, so I do it, and I just have to be careful I don’t overdo. There’s no motivation strong enough on this earth to get me to do cardio, however – I loathe it with the strength of a thousand suns and it hurts my feet terribly. So…I don’t do it. That seems heresy to some people, but I know my limitations. And pushing to pain-level doesn’t do me any good, ever.

    Still, whenever I need a reminder not to be superwoman, I’ll check this entry! Cheers for posting it.

  3. Reposting: Marianne! This video couldn’t have come at a better time. “if you’re considering doing more, you should rest more” made me come to terms with what I’ve been fighting against for over a year now and that is REST. I love conditioning training as well as strength training and I’ve been doing a lot of it, sometimes both on the same day with no previous rest days. Needless to say, I started to plateau and was extremely tired and sluggish throughout the day. But for a little over two weeks now, I’ve been working on resting more and doing less conditioning. And no lie, I’ve been feeling so much better. Your video’s message is right on target! I also, changed my diet a bit by cutting out wheat (I have a gluten intolence, might even be allergic to gluten) and increasing the amount of veggies, fruits, and protein. That could be something else people should consider when they’re feeling really tired and are plateauing. Anyhow, I really do feel better. I’m still working on loving and appreciating the rest days but, nevertheless, making the effort. Thanks for posting the video!

    1. Awesome, Denise. I’m glad to hear that resting is taking a higher priority. I like to think of my days off as that time to allow all my work to “stick” or catch up. If you think of it that way, then it doesn’t feel like time wasted ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. So, is conditioning synonymous with cardio?

    A few weeks back I began to struggle with working out. Problem One: My jeans (I just bought new) have become too tight, my weight is changing and/or my muscles are creating curves. My bum stretches and pulls against the fabric of my jeans, my thighs and my calves do too and I don’t like how it feels. Problem Two: because I recently went up in kb weight, my body felt extra tight.
    Does your body feel tight on a regular basis? Am I not cooling down well enough? Is there something more I can do to help with this?
    I think the combination of tight jeans and stiffness in walking is a real turn off. But maybe I just need to compassionately purchase new, looser jeans and use lots of calendula cream to help my muscles feel better. Your thoughts?

    1. Hi Melly,

      What you describe could be several things:

      1) muscle gain – this sort of gain is very normal for someone in their first year of training, but usually over all, they look smaller, even if your clothes feel tight. This happens to me all the time with my butt, legs and shoulders. If it happens in your waist, then perhaps it could be an increase in BF

      2) It could be water retention: given your history, I would wonder if this was part of the cause.

      3) Diet: When we get more into our training (especially after the type of treatment you were on), then our appetite will naturally increase. But, as I discussed in my email to you, I feel this is simply your body going back to its “norm”. You will be faced with a few changes to your frame, but I hope that you will feel good about them. Unfortunately, no one can really predict how they will feel about the changes that strength training will cause. Most people (mostly women) find it scary to start with, but then fall in love with their new strong curves.

      Not sure what else to say. Ultimately, you need to find a happy zone – and I can’t tell you were that is. Diet has a huge role to play ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Thank you Marianne. Until now I have used my jeans to judge my weight. Now, it isn’t so much about weight as a changing lifestyle. I don’t know just how to deal with our process the changes in my body. Yes, my appetite has increased. Yes, I have been drinking more wine recently. Yes, I have been lifting weight. But my waist has not been getting bigger. I will relax about it, I do find the changes to be startling, but I also like the changes I am experiencing. Thank you for this response, it got ‘in there’ better this time.

  5. thanks again Marianne. I completely agree with you regarding training. When I decided to stop beating myself up and also stopped comparing myself to others and started working out with a goal in mind, I stopped being neurotic about my training. I love to mix it up so it wasn’t that difficult to transition.
    I love to run, but I was doing it wrong, or should I say over doing it, so I joined a run club which is free and have learned so much a bout pacing it.
    I also still weight train but no more than twice a week (would love to go heavier) and enjoy yoga to keep flexible and stress free.
    None of these things are done in any specific order, I keep it organic so to speak. I have seen improvements in my strength and stamina.
    The one thing I wish is that I had a place to train heavy, maybe some day.
    I have learned a lot from coming to your website thank you for keeping it real and down to earth.


  6. OMG, what an awesome teaser pick! Can I look like you if I work really hard? (Nah, just kidding, but you look awesome… muscle and tone lust!)

    OK, I’ll get serious… absolutely awesome advice: I think all of us get caught up in trying to do more at some point. If working out 3 times a week is good, 6 times must be better, and cardio must be the best b/c you feel so wasted afterwards, right? Sooner or later, most people crash and burn. The trouble is that many people quit at that point. Overworking is easy to get caught up in. And there are sooo many workout programs out there, and if you buy one, you are on the list for promo releases from all ‘his best friends!’

    Having followed you fro several years now, I can attest that I have consistently had the best results following your workouts about 2 or 3 times a week, with strength maybe another twice a week. Any more than that, and I just can’t perform well. I still feel a little guilty on those days I decide to take off, but I am always glad for it later, and I usually perform better the next day.

    I look forward to your continuing discussion on this topic!

    Ring dips, huh? Seriously hard, as you can’t cheat on form with rings. I usually do my pullups on rings and I can’t do nearly as many as on a stable pullup bar. I usually do 5 sets of 3-5 reps right now. Still working on handstand pushups too — rather. they are partials… 3-4 sets of 10. Seeing some of the cross-fit competitors in their 60s, I can’t let my age (54) be an excuse!

    Thanks as always for your insight and support!

    ~ Gillian

  7. So I just stumbled across you and your site today and I have to say that you seem to be the most real person talking about fitness around. I mean, when you workout, it sounds real. When you’re tired, you’re obviously winded and not just faking it for the audience. You dont have a fake horrible tan, aren’t always dressed to the hilt, you actually and honestly laugh, and you speak like a person and not some uncaring trainer to the camera. Even this article here sounded like you cared enough to sit down and chat and not have some slick, overproduced, gimmicky explanation.

    I appreciate what you’re doing and am going to try to integrate your workouts into some full body stuff I’m trying/learning to do. That “now journeys end” workout seems to have a killer set of exercises for example. I do have some questions or want your opinion on some things, but I thought post this first! Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely feedback. This is exactly what I want people to feel when they come here. This is reality, not some imaginary world where I am wonderful and perfect. However, I do want to pass on the things that I have learned along the way to help people feel good about where they are at ๐Ÿ™‚


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