How many times have you had the dreaded dream where you are standing in front of a crowd, only to realize you are completely naked?
It is every woman's worst nightmare. And it is pretty obvious why that is. A recent survey conducted by Fitness Magazine and Yahoo! Shine found that 57 percent of the women surveyed believe they look fat naked. More specifically, the thighs were the most loathed body part for women and men, followed by the arms and butt.
Of course, a woman's attitude toward her naked body is nothing new. Just ask fitness expert and author Brad Schoenfeld. Schoenfeld, who holds a Master's degree in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from the University of Texas and was named the 2011 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year, makes a living helping men and women transform their figures from flab to fab. He is highly regarded as one of the leading authorities on body composition training. And he wrote the book on looking great naked. Literally.
Schoenfeld's 10 fitness books include Sculpting Her BodyPerfect, 28-Day Body Shapeover, Women's Home Workout Bible and Look Great Naked. He is currently working on a new book that will make its debut at the end of the year.
Typically, the biggest complaint from women is the trifecta of trouble spots -- the abs, butt and thighs. Obviously, it is a sentiment further supported by Fitness magazine's recent findings. In an exclusive interview with MyDailyMoment,com, the fitness guru explains that although women are genetically predisposed to store most of the junk in their trunks, there is no need to run for cover. A tight, toned body can be attained through proper diet and regimented exercise.
Schoenfeld tells MyDailyMoment.com, "Women should remember that anyone can significantly improve their appearance if they're willing to put in the dedication and effort. You cannot change your genetics, but within your genetic framework, everyone can have a terrific body."
One thing that women can't count on to get slim and trim is spot training. Schoenfeld is quick to point out that trying to spot reduce fat is an exercise in futility. Although targeted exercises can help firm up an area, they are not effective in directly zapping fat in a specific region. Schoenfeld suggests a careful balance between eating right and getting physical to achieve a fit physique. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a one-two punch of less calories and more exercise is the formula for success.
"Weight loss/maintenance basically comes down to calories-in vs. calories-out: if you take in fewer calories than you expend, you'll lose weight," Schoenfeld says. "So you can't expect to simply eat as much as you want and then exercise away the excess. Fitness is only effective as a weight-loss aid when you control the amount of food you consume."
While cardio plays an integral role in accomplishing a better body, the true strength in your workout lies in weight training. Lifting weights not only builds muscle, but also promotes fat loss. Adding muscle raises the metabolic rate, Schoenfeld adds.
"If you train metabolically, it helps to further increase the amount of calories that you burn 'after' the exercise session for up to 72 hours," he explains. "Adding in some cardio can definitely help with fat loss, too, so the combination is beneficial."
For the woman who is determined to look great naked, Schoenfeld has put together a metabolic resistance training workout that will help you get lean and defined.
"You should move from one exercise to the next with as little rest as possible between sets. Once you finish all the exercises, repeat the sequence two more times. Perform 15-20 reps of each exercise."
Look Great Naked Workout
Shoulder Press: Begin by sitting at the edge of a flat bench. Grasp two dumbbells and bring the weights to shoulder level with your palms facing away from your body. Slowly press the dumbbells directly upward and in, allowing them to touch together directly over your head. Contract your deltoids and then slowly return the dumbbells along the same arc back to the start position.
Seated Row: Begin by grasping a V-bar handle attached to a low pulley apparatus with your palms facing in toward each other. Place your feet against the machine's stop plate and, maintaining a slight bend in your knees, sit down in front of the apparatus. Allow your arms to straighten fully so that you feel a complete stretch in your lats. Slowly pull the handle into your lower abdomen, keeping your elbows close to your sides. As the handle touches your body, arch your lower back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Then, reverse direction and return to the start position.
Chest Incline Dumbbell Press: Begin by lying face up on an incline bench set at approximately 30 to 40 degrees, planting your feet firmly on the floor. Grasp two dumbbells, and with your palms facing away from your body, bring them to shoulder level so that they rest just above your armpits. Simultaneously press both dumbbells directly over your chest, moving them in toward each other on the ascent. At the finish of the movement, the sides of the dumbbells should gently touch together. Feel a contraction in your chest muscles at the top of the movement and then slowly reverse direction, returning to the starting position.
Biceps Hammer Curl: Begin by grasping a pair of dumbbells and allow them to hang at your sides with your palms facing each other. Assume a comfortable stance with a slight bend to your knees and press your elbows into your sides, keeping them stable throughout the move. Slowly curl the dumbbells up toward your shoulders and contract your biceps at the top of the move. Then, slowly reverse direction and return to the start position.
Overhead Triceps Extension: Begin by grasping a dumbbell in your right hand with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Bend your elbow and allow the weight to hang down behind your head as far as comfortably possible. Slowly straighten your arm, keeping your elbow back and pointed toward the ceiling throughout the move. Contract your triceps and then slowly lower the weight along the same path back to the start position. After you have performed the desired number of reps, repeat the process on your left.
Squat: Begin by grasping two dumbbells and allow your arms to hang down by your sides, palms facing your hips. Assuming a shoulder-width stance, slowly lower your body until your thighs are approximately parallel to the ground. Your lower back should be slightly arched and your heels should stay in contact with the floor at all times. When you reach a "seated" position, reverse direction by straightening your legs and return to the start position.
Lunge: Begin by grasping two dumbbells and allow them to hang down by your sides. Take a long stride forward with your right leg and raise your left heel so that your left foot is on its toes. Keeping your shoulders back and chin up, slowly lower your body by flexing your knees and hip, continuing your descent until your left knee is almost in contact with floor. Make sure that your right knee does not go past your toes. Reverse direction by forcibly extending the right hip and knee until you return to the start position. After performing the desired number of reps, repeat the process on your left.
Stiff-Legged Deadlift: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp two dumbbells and let them hang in front of your body. Keeping your knees straight, slowly bend forward at the waist and lower and lower the dumbbells down until they touch your toes. Slowly rise upward until you reach the starting position.