{GBFit| Fab Bod with Jules Erickson}

Greetings from Mountain View! I'm here for an extended weekend trip soaking in the quintessential Norcal experience. Divided into three parts, I'll be spending the first couple of days in the epicenter of the tech bubble. Then it's off to the city exploring new culinary and cultural delights while revisiting old favorites. Finally, we'll wind up the trip by traversing through the windy and "winey" roads of Napa. It's country meets city meets Silicon Valley!

In preparation for what will inevitably be an immersion in foodie paradise-the unavoidable core of every GBF trip, I've been working out and working hard with my friend and personal trainer Jules Erickson at Iron LA. With her help, I now know to use all those intimidating machines in the "big guns" section and have even started bench pressing! 

I'll be honest, before Jules, I shunned the idea of weight lifting as I was afraid it would bulk me up. And not to set feminism back fifty years or anything but I repel the idea of having bigger guns than guys. Jules set me straight. Weight lifting doesn't add bulk! She's educating me on the science behind working out and has raised my fitness IQ as I'm getting so much more bang for the buck with each workout. She's helped me so much that I want to share some of her tips on how to work out efficiently and effectively. 

Personal Trainer Jules Erickson's 7 Tips on Getting a Fab Bod

{Tip 1} 
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Proper hydration is key to all-around health. For proper hydration you should aim for 0.5-1.0 oz of water /lb body weight. So if someone weighs 150 lbs, they should try to consume 75-150 oz of water a day, although I always tell people to go for a gallon. If you’re shooting to consume a gallon of water a day, you’re going to be very well hydrated.

{Tip 2}
Your body does the most recovering during sleep; recovery of your muscle and brain. Working out actually causes muscle damage. Sleep is where the muscles repair and you make strength gains. It is a significant stimulator for growth hormone release, which is a natural agent for cell growth and reproduction. Sleep also appears to improve muscle memory, with the most benefits after 7 hours of sleep. Individuals who get in extra sleep are more likely to perform better (at work and/or at their sport), have a better mood, and have increased alertness.

{Tip 3}
Protein is key
Not only is protein the building block of muscle, it creates satiety. Because our bodies have to work harder to digest it, it stays in our system longer. When looking at your plate, focus on eating your protein first, then veggies, and then any other starchy carbs or fats.

{Tip 4}
Lift HEAVY weights
I know to some ladies this sounds crazy. “But won’t I get bulky?” No ladies, you will not get bulky from lifting heavy weights. You will not look like a man. Physiologically, we do not have the same amount of testosterone as men, so we just cannot build muscle like they do. That “toned” look that everyone wants, the “long and lean” muscles, you get those from lifting heavy weights. Whether you’re doing reps of 5 or 25, the weight should always be challenging. You should never walk away from a set feeling like you could have done more.

{Tip 5}
The faster, the better
When it comes to cardio, the faster you’re going, the better. Steady state cardio for weight loss is a thing of the past. But what about the fat burning zone??? Yes, it’s true, we do have a fat burning HR zone. But here’s the part no one told you, our bodies want to store fat. Our bodies want to store fat so desperately that as soon as you start using fat for fuel (working out in the fat burning HR zone) your body is going to figure out a way to stop burning fat. The more work you do in the fat burning zone, the less efficient your body becomes at burning fat and calories. Not only that, but guess what your body will start using for fuel, your muscle. So not only are you becoming less efficient at burning calories by training in this zone, but you’re losing lean mass, which in turn will decrease your metabolism and make you even less efficient at burning calories.

To really torch the fat, you want to increase intensity. Switch to short burst of high intensity exercise (sprints, Mt. Climbers, burpees, kettlebell swings…) followed by a rest period (the higher your intensity, the longer your rest should be), and repeat for 10-20 min.

{Tip 6}
Focus on performance
I have been in the fitness industry of over 10 years, and I have found, when people focus solely on weight loss, it becomes a frustrating process. They let the number on the scale control their happiness and that is not a fun, or healthy, place to be. Instead, I’ve found that people make the most dramatic changes when they switch their focus from how they look, to how they perform.

{Tip 7}
Consistency and patience
Ultimately, making noticeable changes in your performance, and how you look, come down to two things; consistency and patience. You have to be consistent with your workouts and nutrition. Plan out your days in advanced. Figure out your workout time and make an appointment with yourself. Plan out your meals so you know what you’re eating and when you’re eating it. Slips here and there won’t make or break you, but remember, the more slips, the longer it’s going to take to see changes.

Connect with Jules!

FB: Jules Erickson Fitness
IG & Twitter: @JulesErickson

{live fabulously}