By Ameera Steward
For the Birmingham Times
2020: New Year, New You
The new year signals a new start, making resolutions popular for many. The goals people set range from learning new skills to giving up bad habits, but the most common ones usually involve health and wellness, whether through exercise or diet. Here are some words of wisdom from a Birmingham metro area wellness expert to help you improve your physical and mental health in 2020 and beyond.
Want to make changes at the start of the new year? Germaine Mobley, owner of Five Star Fitness in downtown Birmingham advises—Don’t call it a resolution; call it a lifestyle change.
“Resolutions die out. If it’s a lifestyle, it’s going to go with you for the rest of your life,” said Mobley, who has been a trainer since 2003 and the owner of Five Star Fitness since 2007.
Staying fit is mental, he said: “Before we train the body, we train the mind. You train the mind, everything else comes along.
“It’s basically your mindset. When I say mindset as far as fitness, I mean translating your mind to eat the right things. If you work out all day and you’re not eating right, drinking water, taking care of the inside of your body, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing to the outside.”
Working out is approximately 10 percent of the battle, according to Mobley. The rest is eating healthy, which is not just eating things like spinach.
“You want to eat healthy to help blood flow in the body,” he said. “It helps blood pump to your heart, it cleans your colon, it lowers blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol. … Nobody is going to eat healthy all the time. It’s just about when you pick and choose to.”
As for a healthy diet, Mobley, 39, said he doesn’t believe in so-called cheat days. A cheat meal is OK, but a cheat day is too much, he said.
“A cheat day can turn into a cheat week, and a cheat day can kill your whole workout for the week,” he said. “A cheat day … means you’re cheating the whole day. Like I said, if you change your mindset, a meal that you think is cheating isn’t really cheating.”
For example, Mobley said, a person may eat chicken with broccoli and brown rice: “You may think that’s cheating, but actually it’s a good meal.”
Those with busy lives have to be dedicated, Mobley said. A 15- or 20-minute workout every day or every other day is enough.
“A workout doesn’t consist of an hour or two hours in the gym; 15 or 20 minutes every day or every other day is efficient,” he said. “And if you just manage how you’re eating during the week—when you eat, what you eat—that’s good.”
Time spent in the gym ultimately depends on the person and how they move in the gym.
“It’s all about how you’re working out, your pace, how much you’re talking in the gym. … It’s just up to you,” said Mobley.
No matter how long someone is in the gym, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour, in it’s important to stay hydrated and eat something before and after. It’s best to eat before your workout, he explained, but right before or less than 30 minutes before is not advised.
There has been some debate whether lifting weights or using body weight, such as building strength by doing pushups, is better. Mobley said you can’t go wrong either way. Lifting weights can give a leaner and toner look versus using body weight; they each have pros and cons.
“Either one is sufficient if you’re doing the right things, [making sure you eat right and work out which],” he said.
New Year Crowds
Around the first of the year, the gym is often packed with all the people who’ve made New Year’s fitness resolutions, but that which shouldn’t dictate your workout or lifestyle change, Mobley said.
“It doesn’t matter how crowded it is. … If you’re going to the gym, have your workout planned already. If somebody is on a machine you plan to use, have other exercises you can do until that machine is available.”
Don’t want to go to the gym? People can dedicate 15 to 20 minutes at home, Mobley said. Some exercises to do at home are the same ones you did as a child: pushups, jumping jacks, high knees, planks. Instead of scrolling on social media for 15 to 20 minutes while at home, do some exercise or exercise when a commercial comes on during your favorite show, Mobley suggests.
“Push through, you change your mind, you change your life,” he said.
Germaine Mobley offers training services at three locations: Five Star Fitness (1608 3rd Ave. N., Birmingham, AL 35203), Slim Fitness (780 Brookwood Village Ste. 249, Homewood, AL 35209), and Agape Church (328 Robison Dr., Birmingham, AL 35215); workouts are from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. To contact Mobley, call 205-837-9854; email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Facebook @Five-Star Fitness or Instagram @Get5starfit.
Watch your form
Form and posture can be the difference between a successful workout and a painful workout, said Germaine Mobley, owner of Five Star Fitness in downtown Birmingham.
“With the wrong bend or the wrong anything, [it’s] possible to pull something, tear something, tweak something to the point where you’re hurting,” he said. “When you’re doing something with your back, when you’re bent over, or on the floor, you want to have the correct posture … because the slightest little thing can go wrong.”
If you’re at the gym, always ask a trainer for help, and if you’re at home YouTube can help.
A lot of people who want to lose weight want to do so quickly, but “there’s no such thing as a quick fix,” Mobley said.
The amount of time it takes depends on the person and what they’re doing to lose the weight.
“A bigger person will lose more weight than someone smaller because they have more to lose,” he said. “[Personally], I’m not a weight person. I don’t believe in the scale. I don’t believe in letting the number guide you. I’m more so of a fat burner. … If you burn fat, you change your body. You can lose weight and still look the same. If you burn fat, your body is going to change, period.”
With weight loss, comes the possible plateau, becoming stagnant in your journey, or getting into a fitness rut. When this happens, you have to shock the body by doing something different, which can cause you to eat a cheat meal, said Mobley.
“You probably haven’t eaten that cheeseburger with the fries, so you may go one Saturday and eat it. Now your body, when it goes to work out, is in the stage of trying to burn what you ate. … It’s just all about switching things up,” he said.
You also may need to switch up the workout because of muscle memory, which occurs when you do the same thing every day and your body remembers those exercises.
“That’s why we never do the same workout twice in our boot camp,” Mobley said, of his program that’s designed to provide the best exercises for people at all levels, from beginners to people who’ve been working out for years.
“[During our boot camp program], some of the same exercises may be in a workout, but you’re never going to see a full workout that’s the same as one you’ve already done. People still plateau, though, and that’s when we sit down and talk, change the way they eat, try adding more cardio, tell them to add more weights, or something.”
Germaine Mobley’s boot camp costs $60 a month for hour-long sessions five days a week. The morning boot camp class is on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 5:30 a.m.; two evening classes are available Mondays through Thursdays at 5:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.; and there’s one class on Saturdays at 9 p.m. Mobley offers training services at three locations: Five Star Fitness (1608 3rd Ave. N., Birmingham, AL 35203), Slim Fitness (780 Brookwood Village Ste. 249, Homewood, AL 35209), and Agape Church (328 Robison Dr., Birmingham, AL 35215); workouts are from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more info, call 205-837-9854, email email@example.com, or follow on Facebook @Five-Star Fitness or Instagram @Get5starfit.
For more tips from experts on health and wellness going into the new year, click one of the links below.