Cardio for people who hate cardio.

I know how daunting ‘cardio day’ can be for many of us, especially when a treadmill or elliptical is in our future, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. There are so many different ways you can use these machines, in fact, you don’t even have to use one to get a cardiovascular workout in.

Here are a few options to keep things interesting:

Circuit Training- Circuit training involves doing exercises (strength, cardio or both) back to back with little recovery in between. This allows you to get a  cardio effect even if you are only doing strength exercises.

Here is an example of a circuit workout:

anti vs booty and abs workout

Trail running- One of my favorite ways to get in steady- state cardio. With the beautiful scenery around you, you will find it much easier to get through a 30- minute run, and might even end up running longer than you planned!

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Group classes- There are so many to choose from- cycling, Body Pump, cardio kickboxing Zumba. Try them all out and find which one fits you best.

Interval training- Workouts in which you alternate from a period of high- intensity work to low- intensity work (or rest). This promotes excitement in your workout, and can get your out of a slump. Plus, you burn more calories in less time!

Here is an example from Julie over at PB Fingers:

 

 

Cross training on cardio machines- This is a fun way to keep things interesting. Basically you move from cardio machine to cardio machine of your choice.

Example: spend 10 minutes on the treadmill, then move to the elliptical. Choose two or more, do steady- state or intervals. There are many options to choose from!

I hope this has given you some ideas on ways you can implement cardio into your workout without dreading it days before.

How do you get your cardio in?

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Brownies for lunch and a lower body tabata and burpee madness workout

Hey ya’ll,

I hope everyone is having a great week so far! I am finally starting to feel better, so that is a definite relief! I didn’t do any food prep this week and really didn’t feel like going grocery shopping either, so I have not been eating as healthy as I would like for my body to feel energized and strong. On that note- Joseph and I made brownie’s today for no reason at all other than I didn’t have any food in the house for lunch.. Don’t Don’t worry I have food for Joseph- no need to call child services, yet..

This is the result of brownie lunch..

brownie madness

First time licking the spoon.. Notice the Cheez- It’s in the back? Yep, Mother of the year right here.. There is also baby food back there- proof I am not just feeding my child cheez its and brownies.

I swear that was the only spoon I let him lick; he is just really messy. He probably didn’t even get any in his mouth..

The only way you are allowed to have brownies for lunch is if you do this workout after.

This is a crazy fun tabata style workout that focuses on your lower body. I know I have been on a burpee kick lately and have probably lost some readers for it, but they have been kickin’ my butt in a good way so I keep adding them to my workouts.

lower body tabata and burpee madness


Have a great day!

Shout out to J on his birthday and what the heck is carb cycling?

Hey guys,

I hope everyone had a great weekend. It was extra- special for us because we celebrated Joseph’s 1st birthday! I was scared we would have to cancel because Joseph had an ear infection on Thursday and I woke up with the crud on Friday! Luckily we both felt better by Sunday and Joseph had a blast!

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I am so proud of this pic. We always forget to take them and almost forgot at his birthday. This is at the very end!

josephs birthday Collage

Now, since I have posted a picture of my child eating an entire cake by himself- let’s talk about carb cycling! 🙂 I have had some questions about it so I wanted to BRIEFLY shed some light on this method. Note- this is a BROAD overview and by no means a conclusive explanation of the process.

Disclaimer: Although I am an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, I am NOT a nutritionist. This information is knowledge I have acquired while researching and testing out these strategies for myself. Always consult a physician before any change in your diet.

So, whats the deal with carb cycling?

If you are in the fitness industry or just spend a lot of time working out, you have probably heard of ‘carb cycling’. What does this mean and how does it benefit you? Who should use this method and how complicated is it? Today I will be answering some of the most common questions about carb cycling.

What exactly is it?

Carb cycling is an eating plan that alternates between high carb days and low carb days. People use this plan to burn fat while still maintaining their muscle. Your high carb days should be on your most intense workout days (leg day, full body workouts, etc.). Your body will have to pull from your stored energy source for power, which will burn fat.

What should I eat?

Below are some guidelines that most people follow:

Protein: eat about 1-1 ½ gram of protein per pound of body weight. This amount does not need to change throughout the entire process. Protein helps build muscle and remember we are trying to burn fat without losing any muscle mass. Make sure it is lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey and egg whites.

Fats: healthy fats are imperative to your diet. The general rule is to keep it at around 20- 30% of your daily calorie intake, less than this on your high carb days. Healthy fats to go with: olive oil, natural peanut butter and walnuts.

Carbs: Carbs is a major source of energy for the body, and carbs is what will be manipulated in this diet for it to be effective. You need to eat complex carbs and fiber, think, brown rice, wheat pasta and whole wheat bread.

How does it work?

The key is to keep your calorie intake at a level that is optimal for fat loss. We all know that 1lb of fat equals 3500 calories, so to lose a lb a week you would need a 3500 calorie deficit.

If you are maintaining your weight at 2100 calories a day, your weekly intake is 14,700 calories. To lose one lb a week you would reduce your weekly intake to 11,200.

Obviously since you are carb cycling you would not have the same amount of calorie consumption all seven days (which would be 1600 a day) because the high carb days you will consume more.

Say you have 3 high carb days a week- on the high carb days you decide to consume 2300 calories, this means you would consume 1,075 calories on low carb days; that may seem like too little calories for some, but this is how you will get results.

Who is this for?

Most people who use this method are weight lifters/ body builders. They usually go through a stage where they beef up their weight lifting for a couple months, or in ‘off season’ and lay off the cardio. This will allow them to really build muscle. The downside of this is they will put on fat as well. When they have built the muscle mass they want and are ready to burn fat they carb cycle, allowing them to burn the fat without losing muscle.

This is just a brief overview of how carb cycling works. I have listed some more in depth articles if you are interested in trying this method.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/build-muscle-burn-fat-simultaneously.htm

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/par32.htm

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/par49.htm

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamesk2.htm

I also have a workout for you guys coming this week!

Have a great Tuesday!

Birthday trip, an Italian turkey burger recipe and a full body workout

Good morning loves,

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

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Joseph and me with my mom and brother on my birthday

My birthday was Thursday so Charlie and I took a nice one- day vacay to one of my favorite places, Chattanooga, Tn. We had a fabulous dinner that night and on our walk back to the hotel we stopped to have a couple drinks. Normally I would be raring to go and find some good music, but lately I have been so exhausted that all I wanted to do was go back and relax in our cozy hotel room.

The next morning I enjoyed sleeping in and when we got moving we went down and ate a big ole’ breakfast at the hotel restaurant..

breakfast

No need questioning it- I ate all of it..

After breakfast we headed up to Raccoon Mountain to mountain bike.

raccoon mountain 3

How beautiful is this?

I am still getting the hang of the whole mountain biking thing, but these trails weren’t too difficult and I gained a lot of confidence from the trip.

mountain biking

It’s a little blurry- I was SWEATY!

And after three hours I felt amazing and EXHAUSTED.

mtn bike selfie

yep, a sweet no makeup, sweaty selfie. No shame.

Tonight Charlie worked late so I had to cook and I am so glad I did! I was craving burgers, but after indulging WAY too much last week I wanted to keep it light. I whipped up these delicious Italian turkey burgers. I sided it with fresh blueberries and strawberries.

turkey burgers

They were delicious and EASY PEASY!

Below is the recipe:

italian turkey burgs

Okay, one more thing and then done with this post, I promise!

I wanted to share a CRAZY INTENSE workout that I did Friday. I came up with the idea from Lauren at Fitness Barbie. She is a superhero and always has hardcore workouts.

pyramid per move workout


Have a great week everyone!

my new venture with food prepping and a quick, intense pyramid workout for the lower body

Hi friends,

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was jam- packed with cookouts, engagement parties and 30th birthday bashes. Joseph stayed the night at the grandparents on Saturday so Charlie and I got up on Sunday morning and rode our bikes on the mountain. The weather was amazing. If felt like it had rained that morning and that it might rain that day. There was a breeze and the vegetation was glistening from the earlier rain shower.

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The past few weeks I have been trying to food prep for the week. I have never done this before and never could have imagined doing it, but I like it so far. Keep in mind that I am no expert, but you gotta start somewhere, right?

It honestly did not take as long as I expected and has saved me time in the end.

I will share with you all my minor preps I have been doing that have made a HUGE difference.

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taste the rainbow

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All packed up ready to store!

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washed blueberries

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I cut up some almonds for salads

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diced carrots for a quick snack

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shredded chicken

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boiled eggs for salads and snacks

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chopped kale for salads

I also have an intense, but quick pyramid workout for your lower body. It took me about 12 ½ minutes to get through. I went through it twice making it a 25 minute, hardcore workout. Next time I do this workout I will probably do a cardio move for 30 seconds in between each exercise.

pyramid workout

Have a great day!

Chocolate, tears, veggies and full body workouts

Hi friends,

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Even though it has rained two weeks straight and continues to rain, we have made the most of it.

We caught up on some reading..

book worm

book worm

And ate some delicious chocolate that grandma Brought back from Ecuador..

choc collage

going, going, gone!

And I recieved my official certificate for my ACSM Personal Training certification!

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Charlie also whipped up some pretty great veggie dinners. Saturday was quit exceptional and EASY!

It was veggie spaghetti- no meat or spaghetti sauce was used.

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I will share the recipe with you guys. You can also find it on my Belly Happiness page!

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Remember, add veggie mix after putting the noodles on yo plate!

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Cast iron skillets are the way to go!

veggie spaghetti

However, last night Charlie was not home for dinner so mommy had to whip something up..

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I know, I am NOT a chef..

Baked chicken and quinoa .. Hey, its nothin’ fancy but it got the job done!

Okay loves, I gotta quick FULL BODY tabata for you to sweat out your holiday indulgences! This isn’t the most intense workout I have created, but if you add it on to a 20- 30 minute run you will feel like you got a great workout in, I promise! Oh, and as Caitlin suggested, you will never get bored with this workout, BUT it is reserved for ones who are familiar with the exercises, otherwise it could get crazy..

This workout can also be found on my workouts page. Examples of each exercise can be found on the exercise dictionary page.

full body tabata

 

speed skaters 

lunge jumps 

butt kickers

squat jumps

mountain climbers

high knees high arms

plank jacks

reverse lunge with knee tuck 

squat with side leg raise

sumo squat with row 

squat dumbbell twists 

front kicks 

spidermans

tricep dips 

thrusters 

dumbbell curls 

bridge with skull crushers 

plank shoulder touches

dumbbell swings 

Russian twists

side to side plank dips

side lunge with dumbbell twist 

side plank

Have a great day!

Veggie wrap recipe for your hump day/ holiday eve

Happy Hump day!

Is everyone getting ready for the holiday? I wish all holidays were on Fridays because coming from a wife of a home builder- I can tell you that they like to work. If a holiday is in the middle of the week you can almost bet they are no taking off. Of course on Christmas he will, but I have had to tell him that he can’t work on Christmas Eve!

I let my husband’s work addiction slide because he also likes to cook! That’s basically why I married him. We have been trying to eat more meatless meals and he has done a fabulous job creating new dishes.

Last night he made veggie wraps and they were just too good not to share.

veggie dish veggie wrap

veggie wrapss


We had corn as a side because it was what we had on hand, but I would try some white rice with it.

Hope you enjoy!