Did your New Year’s resolution involve some sort of fitness goal? We’re just two weeks into January; don’t be hard on yourself if you haven’t seen big changes or if you still feel like a fish out of water at the gym (or, you know, can’t possibly keep up in your SoulCycle class). “Remember to focus on consistency over intensity. Your training will likely yield better results this way,” says Jennifer Lau, Nike Master Trainer.
Prior to the holidays, the ELLE Canada team followed a seven-week training program with Lau and Nike at Fit Squad in Toronto, focusing on full-body, low-technique but high-intensity exercises (think HIIT training). “A six-to-eight week training program for a beginner is a great amount of time to build momentum and begin to gain some progress,” explains Lau. “It’s generally said that you will feel results around week four and [other] people will notice your changes in six to eight weeks.”
Here, eight editors share their fitness goals and the changes they saw over seven weeks of consistent workouts.
Fitness Goal: Increase Endurance
Fitness Goal: Consistency
Fitness Goal: Improve Energy Levels
Fitness Goal: Strengthen Legs
“I’d fallen off my usual workout routine (a mix of HIIT and weight-training classes three to five days a week) in a big way in recent months. I was missing the health benefits of a regular sweat – I generally sleep better and have fewer random aches and pains – but I also couldn’t help but notice that everything was a little softer and my jeans were a bit tighter. Plus, the looming certainty of wearing a bikini (I’m escaping to Mexico for a week this winter) provided extra motivation to kickstart a new fitness routine. I wanted to feel stronger and healthier, and, on the vanity side of things, I wanted leaner, smoother legs.
While challenging and exhausting, the classes were also fun and varied enough that I was too engaged in what I was doing to notice the time (unlike in my old gym workouts, where I’d glance hopefully at the clock every five minutes). They reminded me how much I love that feeling of having worked my muscles, and each week I felt a bit stronger and more motivated. Not wanting to slip back into my recent lazy ways after the classes ended, I got back to doing my regular workouts again. These days I’m far more likely to drift off as soon as I hit the pillow and my mild lower-back ache (thanks, desk job) has all but disappeared. My legs still need some work…but I’ll get there.” – Ciara Rickard, copy editor
Fitness Goal: Feel Empowered
Fitness Goal: Get Strong
Fitness Goal: Stay Healthy During Pregnancy
“I’m motivated by the beneficial developmental aspects for my child. And it’s so easy to neglect your own health when you’re pregnant, especially the third time around. The social aspect – seeing my friends – and commitment to the group helped hold me accountable to working out. Jenn is so motivating and the classes are just hard enough. I would modify the planks (usually bringing my knees down) because your centre of gravity shifts, but you can do a lot when you’re pregnant, even though society tells you otherwise. I felt strong.” – Katherine Flemming, beauty writer, editor and PR
Fitness Goal: Show Up!
“Prior to this class, I had recently re-joined the gym after a six month hiatus. (Seeing Hustlers sent me sprinting back.) I usually only go on the weekends, so when this Nike class came up mid-week, I knew it would be achievable since the whole team was going (one of the hardest things about working out is just SHOWING UP). Plus it’s only 2 minutes from our office. I didn’t have specific goals in mind other than just getting an extra workout in during the week and making it to the end of each one without dying. I also liked that it wasn’t an hour of straight cardio; it involved tons of weights, which is all I do now because it’s the only thing that gives results. I felt nominally stronger as the weeks went on and I did like that I learned new moves that I can incorporate when I’m on my own. Going forward, I’ll keep focusing on strength training and avoiding Le Gourmand when the cookies are fresh out of the oven.” – Lesa Hannah, Beauty Director
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