Leslie Hooper

Cat Herding for Cardio

Photography by Ryan McGuire
Photography by Ryan McGuire

Not too long ago I was contacted by a prospective client who had recently battled (and overcame!) breast cancer and wanted to get back into weight lifting after a five year hiatus.

She had taken it upon herself to sign up for Zumba classes to help shed some of the unwanted weight she had acquired during her recovery. While she seemed to enjoy these classes, she knew she wouldn’t achieve optimal results without strength training and nutritional guidance.

When we sat down together to discuss her long and short-term goals, she stated she had already lost several inches since she had began Zumba a month earlier.

This is where most people go wrong.

Because she was already making progress and enjoying her Zumba classes, we kept that part of her program EXACTLY the same.

Would it make sense for me to pull her from Zumba (something we know she likes to do) and put her on a strength training program four days a week?

Absolutely not.

We know she’s already making progress. We can make a few nutritional tweaks to her diet (more veggies and protein, less alcohol, etc.) and add a couple of full-body strength training days and monitor results again in two weeks.

I’m reminded of the old adage: ‘If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.’

She likes Zumba and is losing fat. You can’t ask for a better scenario than that. Incorporating a couple strength training days a week will only serve to further benefit her body composition. There’s no need for a beginner to be doing much more than that if they’re already finding other ways to lose fat that’s both effortless and fun.

The primary driver of fat loss is consistency. Consistency in exercise and consistency in healthier food choices.

And what keeps people consistent?


Photography by Ryan McGuire

If you want long-term, sustainable results that don’t keep you losing and gaining the same 20lbs over and over again, then you’re going to have to find a way to fall in love with the journey.

97% of individuals who lose weight will eventually regain it.

Why is this?

Because they didn’t love their chosen form of exercise. And if you don’t love the path you’re on, you’ll never be consistent in your endeavor.

Find what it is that you love to do – whether it be swimming, rollerskating, herding cats, hop scotch, dancing alone in your bedroom at night – it doesn’t matter.

Just find a way to do it. Every single day. Forever.

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