This question from Susan posed such a juicy opportunity to help you step up the results from your body shaping workouts that it’s worth a laser focus. Often we are looking for something else: A new way to workout, or the workout magic – that we don’t see how just doing what we are doing – better .

Thanks Susan for providing the inspiration!

Q.  Hi Lani,I’m doing a follow-up on results to working out to the Bar Method DVD’s.

I have been working out faithfully to them, 4/5 x a week since Jan. My arms, and legs/thighs are toning very nicely. My ab/lower abs, hip/glute area, not so much. I’m so discouraged, in fact I put on shorts that fit OK a year ago, now they are tight in the hip/ab area!

I’m 53, maybe I’m just doomed to carry weight in that area. I am ready to jump back on the boring treadmill again during the leg lift segments, I hate that thing(treadmill)!

I’m very puzzled as to why that has happened. I have been doing the workouts long enough that it shouldn’t be where the muscle lifts transition the Bar Method speaks of.

Thanks! Susan


It sounds like you have experienced mixed results.  Some visible changes in the direction you wanted to move, and in other areas, not so much.I’d like to address your concerns from several directions.

  1. the changes you have experienced
  2. tweaking your exercise form for better results
  3. taking a closer look at nutrition

Let’s take a closer look.

Last hired first fired

I’m betting, first of all, that the first place you put on weight is in the lower abs and hips.  This is where most women DO have the greatest deposit of fat cells and they fill up first, progressing then to  the arms and, in your case, down into lower thighs.  So though you may be losing fat overall, it is most noticeable to you in the areas that you have fewer fat cells to fill.

It will follow that as you become leaner, these other areas will demonstrate fat reduction as well.  For example, in my case, belly and mid-section are the first places I will gain.  I know those will also be last to go.  Patience and persistence become key.

Have you measured?

Another element to look at is actual measurements.  This I mean in the form of the measuring tape and/or body fat measurements.  It may be that your body shape has changed with the lift of the seat from your workouts, resulting in a different feel to your clothes.  Quite possible.  This is what occurred for me.

Also, taking pictures tells a better story than we might imagine.  Looking in the mirror for results can be deceptive, as we tend to see ourselves from memory.  A picture can illuminate changes we might not otherwise see.

Tweaking your exercise form

I’d love to step into my studio with you right this minute for a quick form check on your Bar Method work!   So play with me a little here…

1.  Go for the quiver:  Experiencing muscle shaking throughout the thigh work?  You want to “go for the quiver”.  If not, check your form at knees and shoulders (number 3 below) and challenge yourself to go lower.  You want those muscles (not the joints!) screaming at the end of these sets.  This you accomplish through correct body positioning and lowering into your point of challenge.  I cue this in my Fit Quickie workouts all the time and it makes a BIG difference in results.

2.  Go for the burn:  Experiencing deep muscle burn in the seat work?   Remember it’s the fight of the pull to the back against tail tuck in seat work that is creating the body shaping isolation you want.  Actually, the same in back dancing at the end – you keep the ribcage connected to the floor while lifting the seat up and MAXimizing the squeeze over the release.

3.  Line it up:  Keeping mindful of shoulders over hips, seat tucked under and gripped, slight forward bend at waist to keep back vertical, and ribcage lifted up from hips?   Check yourself in a side mirror the next time you work out and make adjustments.  See 3 Pivotal Points of Focus.

Exercise intensity – and effectiveness in muscle shaping – is a function of positioning and concentration.  Again, a good measure of this, when it comes to isolation work,  is how deeply into the muscle you feel the work.

More than which workout you choose is the challenge and intensity of the one you DO select that makes the difference.

You say:

I’m 53, maybe I’m just doomed to carry weight in that area. I am ready to jump back on the boring treadmill again during the leg lift segments, I hate that thing(treadmill)!

Hold on. During what leg lift segments? The Accelerated Workout?  That section is more cardio if it is to what you refer, yet as for other leg lefts,   each of these segments is important to the shaping process you are seeking to achieve.  This is where Burst Training – HIIT – the instructions and guide for which you can find in the free Fitness Breakhrough Kit –   can make a noticeable difference, and why I switch it into the rotation for Booty Camps.

Taking a closer look at nutrition and diet

This can be a hard one.  Yes, your years are more than they were 2, 3, or 10 years ago, which does present some new challenges – and also some benefits!

Yet as sure as day follows night, if your body shaping techniques are THERE and the new shape isn’t showing, it is due to body composition.  And body composition is, first and foremost, made in the kitchen.  Ouch, I know.  However, and also:

Hormones: where you are in your cycles can make a difference.  Fluctuating hormones during menopause and peri-menopause can create puzzling changes when it comes to our ability to lose bodyfat, and belly fat can be a bit stubborn.  Stress response hormones tend to create more abdominal fat as well.  Put the two together and your challenges multiply.

In addition, though “working out”, we tend to be more sedentary overall than we may have been just a few years back.  This can sneak up on us.  And if we find that most of our activity is during our “workout” session, and the other 23 hours are pretty sedentary, this can be a huge player in the overall picture.

These all have their implications when it comes to nutrition as well.  If our diet “isn’t any different from before” as you mention, it may be that what your dietary profile was before is not suiting your current body composition goals given your current activity level and hormonal profile.  This is usually where the culprit is.  And why it is important to maintain active lives AND take care about the caloric content of your diet.  Remember, you can’t outtrain a bad diet, and though your dietary choices may be excellent, it may be too high in caloric content to allow you to reduce body fat stores.

Midlife considerations:

During the year (s) preceding menopause, there can be an upward shift of weight that is seemingly beyond our control.  Here’s the way through that:  maintain your exercise, continue to challenge yourself with intensity, take vigilant care of eating a healthful diet with less deviations (less “cheat” times), manage stress and anxiety, and I promise you that you will come out the other side with everything a little easier, and those few pounds will come off.

Resist the temptation to diet stringently which quickly backfires.  Moderation is key here more than ever.  Reduce processed foods and fats to help keep things in check.

We’ve addressed a review of your changes, tweaking exercise form, and nutritional considerations. Hope this gives you some points of clarification and insight into creating even better results!

Seat-shaping secrets and 45 minutes of my best low-fat kitchen and food prep tips are yours as a bonus gifts in the all-new Lani’s Success Club:  Click here now to check it out >>>>>


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This