Don’t just sit there!!!

Have you ever thought about adding nutrition to your body through moving and walking more?

sitting more than 4 hours/day results in a 50% increased risk of death from any cause.

Research has shown us that people aren’t either active or sedentary—they can be both!! Even the active people can be actively sedentary! WHAT???? You can go to the gym – workout for one, two or more hours, and if you sit for 4 or more hours a day, you are still considered sedentary

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We all need to become more physically active throughout the day.

Here are some ideas…

1. Move or stretch at least 3-4 minutes every hour.
2. Hold a walking meeting.
3. Organize group walks during lunch or breaks.
4. Add steps to your day the easy way, park further away!
5. Walk to communicate instead of calling, emailing, or texting.
6. Use your lunch hour to walk/exercise AND bring your own lunch
7. Take the stairs to another floor’s restroom.
8. Take the stairs when traveling less than two flights.
9. Get off the elevator 2 or 3 flights before your floor and take the stairs
10. Do partial squats while waiting for the copier/microwave/ fax etc.
11. Wait by walking instead of sitting.
12. Fidget and squirm, you will burn more calories!
13. Get a sit-stand workstation.
14. Move your feet by doing ankle circles or flexing them up and down
15. Change your position or posture often

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Americans sit almost 10 hours each day (on average)!!

calculate how many hours a day you sit.

So don’t just sit there – get up and move!!! Here are more ideas to get you moving throughout your day!

Be Proactive with your health!!

Are you that person who is looking for ‘the perfect diet?”

Instead of trying all of the 50,000,000 diets that are out there, educate your self. “Education breeds compliance”Define your goals, be honest with yourself about where you are and what you want to achieve. There are people who have been through similar experiences as you have.

Find a mentor and/or coach who can guide you.

What works for one person may not work for you. That is a straight up fact.

EDUCATE YOURSELF!!

Educating yourself will make you

  • more confident in your choices,
  • more confident in knowing when something feels off or wrong,
  • confident in knowing when it feels right and that it is part of the process.

No more pretending or saying “Oh I didn’t know”

 

One thing you might want to look at, is if your getting enough of the right nutrients?

A  dietary deficiency is when you are not getting the right nutrients, in the right amounts.

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How are your energy levels? Appetite? Strength? Endurance?  Even your  mood is tied into  getting enough of these essential nutrients. When you don’t get them, things break down.
You have tried EVERYTHING!! …..   you can do “everything right” nutritionally – and still feel lousy.

So start with  identifying  your nutrients – make sure your getting enough!

 

 

 

Super Shakes

Maybe you need a quick breakfast before work – your running late, or a nutritious energy-replenishing lunch you can eat on your way from gym. Whatever it may be -here is  your solution…
This is healthy… Its packed full of nutrients — fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.

And EASY!

Meet …   the Super Shake.

It’s a meal in a glass — high-quality liquid nutrition that gives you everything you need and it is so convenient!!!

Here is a template for creating awesome ‘Super Shakes’… all the time.

STEP 1:
Pick a liquid

  • Water
  • Almond milk (unsweetened)
  •  Cow’s milk

Less liquid = thick shakes. More liquid = thin shakes. 4-8 oz is a good starting point for each serving.

STEP 2
Pick a protein powder

  • Whey protein
  • Casein protein
  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein
  • Other proteins or protein blends

Some protein powders contain thickeners, which will increase the thickness of your shake. Find the protein supplement that you like best. 1-2 scoops should be sufficient (25-50 g).

STEP 3
Pick a veggie

  • Dark leafy greens: Spinach / Swiss chard / kale
  • Pumpkin / sweet potato
  • Beets / beet greens
  • Cucumber / celery
  • Powdered greens supplement

Spinach is usually your best bet, as it is virtually flavorless in your Super Shake. Canned pumpkin is great too. It goes well with vanilla. When using beets, try roasting them and removing the skin first. Beets pair well with chocolate. If you add celery or cucumber, you’ll need to use less liquid in your shake. Add 1-2 handfuls.

STEP 4
Pick a fruit

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Dates
  • Pineapple / mango
  • Powdered fruit supplement

Toss in half a banana to give the shake an excellent consistency. Dates go a long way, as they’re very sweet (and make sure to get rid of the pit first!). Apples are easy — simply remove the core and slice into wedges. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. Aim for 1-2 cupped handfuls.

STEP 5
Pick a healthy fat

  • Walnuts
  • Flax, hemp, chia seeds
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Peanut and nut butters

When blended well, nuts and seeds give the shake a nice, rich consistency. 1-2 thumbs is usually enough.

STEP 6
Pick a topper

  • Coconut
  • Cacao nibs / dark chocolate
  • Yogurt
  • Oats / granola
  • Cinnamon
  • Ice cubes (if using fresh fruit)

Cinnamon is good with vanilla and pumpkin. Add oats if you need extra carbs, yogurt if you want more protein and a smoother consistency. For all of these, a little goes a long way.

HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITES

 

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Berry ‘SUPER SHAKE’
12 oz water
1 cup spinach
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup plain NO-fat yogurt
1 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp ground flaxseed

Blend it all together!

 

OATMEAL SHAKE

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1 cup dry oatmeal
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup sugar-free maple syrup
1 tbsp chopped almonds
1-1/2 cups water or low-fat milk

Directions: Blend and Enjoy
Serving size: 1 shake

GET CREATIVE!!! SHARE WHAT YOU MAKE!

Do you binge on weekends?

I have  spent a lot of years relying on my willpower to make through the weekends. During the week I would eat really good, make it through Saturday day and then Saturday night or sometimes I was good until Sunday, I would reward myself with a little treat – but then that “treat” usually turned into a “cheat meal” and that cheat meal generally turned into chaos . “it’s ok,” I would say to myself…. “I’ll start over again Monday.”

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I know I’m not the only one who has done this or does this. This pattern forms by restricting ourselves to a point where we rely on willpower over common sense…  after a while we fall deeper and deeper into a cycle of restricting and binging, where food becomes a reward and exercise becomes a punishment.

So how do we stop this cycle??   Stop restricting yourself!!!   Stop labeling foods as good food and  bad food.  If you want to treat yourself – treat yourself.

One of the biggest key’s to consistently eating better… is simply looking at food as fuel.

Is food more than fuel? Yep…. It’s comfort, a social thing, connection, delicious,  and we can name lots of  ‘what food is’.
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Try not to  prioritize food as comfort or social fun, then it can become a job and not enjoyable.
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And it can become harder and harder to WANT to eat healthy whole foods, for 90% or more of your diet.
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So the best way to prioritize our diet is to look for 

Biofeedback

Biofeedback can build an  awareness for you… How do you feel when you over eat? How are your stress levels? How are your energy levels? How are you sleeping? How is your hunger?

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Your  awareness to these kinds of things is the key to consistent change –
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Become aware – track or record how you feel and how you slept each day. How did your workout go? Were you dragging or did you have an awesome workout?  Biofeedback will help  you become aware of the foods your eating and the effect it has on your body. 

Build awareness⠀⠀

If you REALLY want to change your eating habits…  build awareness. Once you build awareness, change becomes easier.
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Do you get enough sleep? How about water?

Water and Sleep are two super important and most commonly neglected aspects of improving health, body composition and performance.
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Did you know 60% of your body is water?
Crazy when you think of it like that.
Puts it into perspective a bit… maybes it’s more important than you realized.

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Studies show lack of water and dehydration can cause mental and muscular fatigue, slower metabolism, headaches, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, sleep disruption, and more…
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  •  Water Helps to Maximize Physical Performance
  • Hydration Has a Major Effect on Energy Levels and Brain Function
  • Drinking Water May Help to Prevent and Treat Headaches
  • Drinking More Water May Help Relieve Constipation
  • Drinking Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones
  • Drinking More Water Can Help With Weight Loss

 

We’re more than half water.
The world is more than half water.
More than half of our bodily functions are highly impacted by water…
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🤔 Maybe we should drink more water…? 💦
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You don’t need a gallon jug with you at all times but I highly suggest you at least start each and every day with a large glass of room temp water.
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And if you can, sip water every hour throughout the day (set an hourly reminder, easy hack).
Because the truth is, just like sleep, it’s an easy thing to implement that can improve your results pretty dramatically.

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life.

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

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The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping.

During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.  Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.

Get some sleep!!!

  • Not getting enough sleep is linked to weight gain.
  • Getting the right amount of sleep improves your hormones
  • Good sleep improves your immune system.
  • Sleep helps to improve learning skills
  • Sleep lowers the risk of developing depression
  • People who get more sleep naturally eat less
  • Sleep improves athletic performance

 

Part 2 of does dieting damage my metabolism?

If you read last weeks article of does dieting damage my metabolism, you will know that  no, losing weight doesn’t “damage” my metabolism.

 Losing weight, and keeping it off, is accompanied by adaptive metabolic, neuroendocrine, autonomic, and other changes. These changes mean that we expend less energy — around 5-10 percent less (or up to 15 percent less at extreme levels) than what would be predicted based on just weighing less.

What????

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Our bodies will ALWAYS take the path of least resistance. If you have yo- yo dieted or  have repeatedly lost and gained weight back, or  repeatedly fluctuated between being extremely lean and being overweight in the off-season,  you  have  put your body into ‘conservation mode’. All this means, is  your  body may have  become predictably more ‘sensitive’ to various hormones and neurotransmitters.

Here is how to combat this- all you need to worry about it to

 gain muscle- this can help you  accomplish your goals!

The physiology of weight loss can be complicated, but the best strategies for losing fat and keeping it offer not. Here are some tips that can help.

1. Eat plenty of protein.

Protein is essential when trying to losing weight / fat for a few reasons.

  • Protein helps you keep that all-important lean body mass (which includes connective tissues, organs, and bone as well as muscle).
  • Protein significantly increases satiety, which means you feel fuller despite eating less. (And eating more protein often causes people to eat less overall.)
  • Just by eating more protein you burn more calories, because of the increased thermic effect of eating.

For example, if you’re eating 2,500 calories daily, 15 percent from protein, 50 percent from carbs, and 35 percent from fats (roughly average for US adults), you’re burning approximately 185 calories per day through digestion.

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2. Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, quality carbs, and healthy fats.

Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, water, and fiber to help you fill up during meals, stay full between meals, keep you healthy, and recover from your workouts.

The carbs will fuel training, boost leptin (a super important hormone), keep up  hormones, and prevent feelings of deprivation.

And the fats also boost the immune system, suppress excess inflammation, and make food taste really good.

3. Adjust your intake as you plateau, or to prevent plateaus.

As your weight loss progresses, you will need to lower your calorie intake further to continue to progress, as your smaller body will burn fewer calories, and your body is adapting to your diet.

4. Try high-intensity interval and resistance training a few times per week.

What you put in your body is super important, but what you do with your body is also just as important when it comes to increasing  your metabolism and effortlessly maintaining your ‘happy weight’. To get the most for your metabolism, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance-training exercises are going to benefit you the most. For HIIT, things like jumping jacks, burpees, Turkish get-ups, stairs, running, and jumping rope are all great options. Do these in four to eight bursts of 30 to 60 seconds, three times per week. For resistance training, try using some small free weights to train your upper body, core, and lower body. Do three to five exercises per body part, and two to four sets of 8 to12 reps each—shoot to resistance train two to three times per week for maximum effect

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5. Develop a solid nightly sleep routine and manage your stress.

Sleep is just as important to your success as nutrition and activity levels. Don’t pretend that you can get by with less. It simply isn’t true.

Often, when people lower their stress, they lose a lot of body water. Then they also notice that they may have lost fat too. (Plus, they may discover that chronic inflammation goes down — another win.)

This includes mental and emotional stress. Research on cognitive dietary restraint (i.e. worrying and stressing out about food) shows that constantly and negatively fixating on what you eat (or don’t) can have the same unhealthy effect as actually dieting super strict.

6. Have some self-compassion.

There are going to be meals or days where you don’t eat as you “should”. It’s OK. It happens to everyone. Recognize it, accept it, forgive yourself, and then get back on track.

Research actually shows that self-compassion and flexible eating is associated with lower BMI and a healthier body weight, lower self-reported calorie intake, less anxiety and stress, and a better relationship with food.

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7. Biofeedback

Biofeedback this is where YOU will gage and check on your body’s hormonal function and balance.  Your body takes a hit hormonally when we diet too hard, train too hard, don’t recover enough, or simply do not take care of it. The problem for most, is that their goals may not go hand in hand with taking care of the body.

Biofeedback is how we manage that everything is still in check. It is the measurement tool that tells us when we’ve gone to far, when our body has almost had enough, and when our body is ready for more.

Biofeedback is your hunger, cravings, sex drive, energy, fatigue level, sleep quality, stress, mood swings… biofeedback is every signal the body will make or stop making successfully when it is hormonally out of sync.

When we under recover (or train too much/hard), our energy starts to decline and our fatigue levels start to dramatically incline.

When we put the body under too much stress – this can be  from chronic dieting or overly intense training, both of which are a form of under-recoveryall of these biofeedback markers will start to decline or become negatively impacted.

So understanding and being aware of your own personal biofeedback, is so crucial for long-term results.

The scale is great but biofeedback is way better, this’ll keep you from getting discouraged if the scale only moves 1 lb – or maybe not at all! I’m performing well, sleeping well, not stressing extra, not super hungry, not having cravings… All the things you expect during a diet, aren’t there. Which tells me neurologically and hormonally, I’m in a good position still.

8. You need to eat like an adult!

Last one…  This  may sound funny … But it’s true! Eat everything your Mom forced you to eat when you were a child. On a diet, you DO need to eat greens and healthy things

It’s just the reality. Lots of produce will absolutely improve health, digestion, and even fat loss.  Your results won’t last if you do not eat a good  amount of produce. , you  CAN lose fat better and on more calories when consuming lots of whole foods.

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Be smart in the way you eat- and you will see results!!!!!!

Can dieting damage your metabolism?

There’s a lot of discussion in the fitness industry about whether crash dieting can cause metabolic damage….

You are  working out consistently and intensely… plus eating carefully, but you are not losing weight (or not losing it as fast as you’d like or expect).
Or you were losing weight consistently… until recently. Now you’re stuck — even though you’re working as hard as ever.   Or maybe  when you were younger, you were super fit,  and you did fitness competitions. Maybe you did some crash diets. But now, even when you put in the same effort, you just can’t seem to get as lean…

What is going on??

Do you think your  metabolism could be damaged?  Has your metabolism slowed to a crawl? Are your hormones off? Is it really possible to GAIN weight from eating too LITTLE? Here’s what’s really going on — and how to solve it.

In my years as a coach/tainer, this question has come up over and over,
people are frustrated and confused. They have been doing everything they can, including eating less — maybe a lot less —  exercising sometimes for HOURS a day. In fact I HAVE done this! After I had my 6th child I exercised for 3 hours a day! (We will discuss doing too much ‘cardio’ later) So people who are eating less and they’re still not losing weight. In fact, they might even be gaining weight.
Look on the  internet  and you will find lots of explanations.
(Some people say that the laws of energy balance apply, and that people aren’t counting calories properly. Others call it “starvation mode”, or some weird metabolic or hormonal problem.)

So what’s the deal? Is there something wrong with them? Are their bodies broken? Is it all in their heads?

Or can you actually gain weight from eating too little?

Have you heard of the Law of Thermodynamics?  Or maybe you’ve heard it as energy balance. Or “calories in, calories out.”

If your not sure what this law is, this law of thermodynamics is energy that can neither be created nor destroyed.

This is what it means…
Thermodynamics is a way to express how energy is used and changed. When we eat, we take in energy in the form of food, and we expend energy through activities like:
breathing, circulating blood, food digestion etc… (basic metabolic functions)
movement, daily-life activity, purposeful exercise, etc.
producing heat (also called thermogenesis)

And… Energy balance (calories in, calories out) does determine bodyweight.
If we absorb more energy than we expend, we gain weight.
If we absorb less energy than we expend, we lose weight.
This has been tested over and over again by researchers, in many settings.
It’s as close as we can get to scientific fact.
There are other factors that could influence this simple equation, which can make things feel a little confusing:

Simply put, energy balance (calories in, calories out) does determine bodyweight.

  • If we absorb more energy than we expend, we gain weight.
  • If we absorb less energy than we expend, we lose weight

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We do not defy the laws of thermodynamics.

But what about unexplained weight changes? That time you ate a big dinner and woke up lighter? When you feel like you’re “doing everything right” but you’re not losing weight?
Nope, even if we think we’re defying energy in vs. energy out, we’re not.
And what about that low carb doctor who implies that insulin resistance (or some other hormone) messes up the equation?
While hormones may influence the proportions of lean mass and fat mass you gain or lose, they still don’t invalidate the energy balance equation.

Measuring metabolism is tricky.

The fact is, your exact metabolic demands and responses aren’t that easy to measure.
It is possible to ‘approximate’ your basal metabolic rate —  (by doing a simple formula) in other words, the energy cost of keeping you alive. But measurements are only as good as the tools we use.
When it comes to metabolic measurement, the best tools are hermetically sealed metabolic chambers… kind of expensive.
We may have our “metabolism” guesstimated at the gym, or by our fitness trackers, as with calorie counts on labels, these estimates can be off by 20-30 percent in normal, young, healthy people. They’re probably off by even more in other populations.
Of course, if we could accurately measure how much energy you’re expending every day, and then accurately measure exactly how much energy you’re taking in and absorbing, we could decide whether you were truly “eating too little” for your body’s requirements.

So, unless we can exactly measure energy inputs and outputs from minute to minute, we can’t know for sure what your metabolism is doing and how it matches the food you’re eating.
So, most of the time, we have to guess. And our guesses aren’t very good.
Not only that, but the idea of “eating too little” is subjective.
Think about it. By “eating too little”, do you mean…
Eating less than normal?
Eating less than you’ve been told to eat?
Eating less than feels right?
Eating less than you need to be healthy?
Eating less than your estimated metabolic rate?
Eating less than your actual metabolic rate?
And how often does that apply? Are you…
Eating too little at one meal?
Eating too little on one day?
Eating too little every day?
Eating too little almost every day but too much on some days?

This can be exhausting!!
Most times, the problem is perception.

As human beings, we’re bad at correctly judging how much we’re eating and expending. We tend to think we eat less and burn more than we do — sometimes by as much as 50 percent.

(Interestingly, lighter folks trying to gain weight often have the opposite problem: They overestimate their food intake and underestimate their expenditure.)
It’s not that we’re lying (though we can sometimes deceive ourselves, and others, about our intake). More than anything, it’s that we struggle to estimate portion sizes and calorie counts.
This is especially difficult today, when plates and portions are bigger than ever. And energy-dense, incredible tasting, and highly brain-rewarding “foods” are delicious, cheap, and socially encouraged.

When people start paying close attention to their portion sizes using their hands or food scales and measuring cups, they are frequently shocked to discover they are eating significantly more than they imagined!

Im going to add a part 2 to this – for now, check proportion sizes, try to limit processed carbs. Make sure you are getting adequate protein, carbs and fat.

Protein is SO important for maintaining and building lean body mass. adequate protein intake is especially important if you have body composition goals as it helps ensure that any movement on the scale is a result of fat loss rather than loss of muscle mass.

Carbohydrates who often get a bad wrap but reality is that they are our bodies’ go-to source of energy. feeling sluggish and tired? struggling to recover from workouts? you may be consuming too few carbs

Fats  are important for regulating hormones and aiding in the absorption of nutrients. also, they make food delicious

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… tracking your macros is not about being the crazy obsessed person who weighs all their food; it is about learning how to fuel your body properly by eating the right amount of food for your lifestyle and your goals. it is about balance.

 

Sitting is bad for your brain!!!!

We know that movement can change your skeletal muscle mass… but what about the  idea that movement can change the mass of your brain??? I’m thinking  sitting, being inside all day, and being on a computer/screen IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!  Get off your computer, phone or whatever… and go for a walk!!!!!

UCLA researchers recruited 35 people ages 45 to 75 and asked about their physical activity levels and the average number of hours per day they spent sitting over the previous week. Each person had a high-resolution MRI scan, which provides a detailed look at the medial temporal lobe, or MTL, a brain region involved in the formation of new memories.
The researchers found that sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of thinning of the MTL and that physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods… click if you want to read about this study done at UCLA.

Read the study here

Want to upgrade your conditioning?

I have a love/hate relationship with cardio. I used to enjoy running, but its become something I don’t enjoy anymore –  Im pretty sure cardio is something that most of us avoid, some of us hate, and very few of us love.  Bottom line, is cardio will improve health, push you towards your fat loss result faster, (if thats one of your goals) and it will actually help you look more muscular if you’re pushing for hypertrophy (muscle gain), and it will absolutely improve your strength training in the gym.

Here are  the favorite and most recommended:

PROWLER

If have never pushed a prowler in or at the end of a workout… YOU ARE  MISSING OUT!!!! Prowlers are number one because they’re the best all around tool, that anyone can use safely while getting an insane metabolic workout in.

You can load it up and build strength without harming the knees and hips. You can keep it light and use it for injury free sprints. You can push it fast for short explosive bursts or you can push it slower for long steady pace durations.

So when we want to add cardio in without getting sore, this is perfect! Here’s an awesome Prowler finisher that never fails.

Prowler Suicides

Set Out 3 Cones (10 Yards, 15 Yards, 20 Yards)

– Prowler Push (Sprint Pace) To Each Cone and Back For Time x3-6 Rounds

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 SLED PULLS

Sled pulls are also a good  choice, for almost all the same reasons as the prowler.  It’s joint friendly, can be light and fast or heavy and slow, can be used by almost anyone, and has multiple purposes or benefits behind it. The difference here, that makes it truly great, is that you can pull it in so many different ways – depending on what you’re going after.

You can row it, you can sprint forward with it, you can drag it backwards, you can bear crawl with it, you can walk laterally with it… the list goes on, it’s a great piece of equipment.   Try this for sled pulls –

Distance Sled Drags

3 Minutes On / 1.5 Minutes Rest x6-8 Rounds

– Pull Forward x20-25 Yards & Drag Backwards x20-25 Yards

ROWER

The Rower, is one of my favorite cardio go to – but not because it’s the ultimate fat burner (although it’s great for that).

I love the rower because it also trains your back musculature and can promote better posture. Too many people in the gym are stuck on their anterior chain (front side) for 75% of their training volume. Squats, sit-ups, bench presses, and curls. All things that promote shortened hip flexors and protracted shoulder blades.

We should to row 2x more than we push, in order to combat bad posture. In other words, let’s work our back side more than our front side. Well with rowing, we accomplish that. In fact it’s one of the only cardio methods that is repetitive posterior chain movements – which makes it a top dog for the average American gym goer.

But let’s add to that for the sake of burning fat and increase aerobic capacity. It is a movement that builds aerobic capacity and can seriously crank up your metabolic rate during a session. This will  allow you to maintain and build some muscle, promotes quality movement patterns, and can burn some calories if you program it properly.

Here’s 4 ways to program your rowing for cardio, depending on your goals:

Duration/Endurance

Intervals of 90 Seconds work / 60-90 Seconds Rest

Last Call Finisher

1,000 Meters / As Fast As Possible, 1 Round At The End Of A Strength Workout

Bursts

250 Meters For Time / 45-60 Seconds Rest, 5-10 Rounds

Countdown

500 Meters / 60 Second Rest

400 Meters / 60 Second Rest

300 Meters / 60 Second Rest

200 Meters / 60 Second Rest

100 Meters / DONE

ASSAULT BIKE

The assault bike is a mental battle for me – you HAVE to be mentally strong to push through your time, distance, or calorie burn allotment on the assault bike.

Assault bikes are great because again, they’re super joint friendly. As you can see, that’s my number 1 priority with prescribing cardio. Cardio should NOT interfere with our lifting/workout goals, it should enhance it, and it should never negatively impact our movement capabilities.

But another thing I love about the assault bike is that it actually improves our squat form. They did a study that showed people who chose the bike for their cardio vs. walking or running, actually improved their squat. This is probably because of the movement of the hip and knees, moving together in unison.

But if we’re referring to aerobic capacity, building muscle, or fat loss – again it’s one of the best forms of cardio you can possibly choose.

Because it actually works the muscles in your legs. This  means the assault bike can actually help BUILD muscle when not in a serious caloric deficit. This is HUGE because more cardio is known to be catabolic (aka – anti-muscle building).

Racing For Calories….

– 10 Calories For Time / 60-120 Seconds Rest x10 Rounds

HILL SPRINTS

Hill sprints have less hip extension, because the hill gets in the way. So although flat ground sprints may develop better hamstrings (probably splitting hairs with that statement), it takes down the injury risk of any lower back, hip, or hamstring injuries occurring. And again, if you cannot do it consistently then there’s no point in doing it at all.

Sprints in general, though, are fantastic because they build explosive speed and power, work on fast twitch muscle fibers, and create a very short burst high intensity stimulus – which we know is fantastic for increasing metabolic rate and burning body fat.

So for anyone who is or wants to become an athlete, or just look and perform like one, hill sprints are a definite suggestion of mine. The beauty of them, too, is that the protocols are so simple you really can’t mess them up:

 

Escalating Hills

3-4 Rounds Of Each Distance, For Time / Rest 60-120 Sec Between Rounds

– 10 Yards, 20 Yards, 30 Yards, 40 Yards

Kylee, Esther, Sarah Barefoot

Walking

Walking can help lower cortisol, in fact, studies show that it’s literally the only type of cardio that can possibly lower our cortisol levels.

The best part about walking, though, is that it’s almost impossible to over do it and create a state of under-recovery.  Walking is great because we can plan walks, count steps, or even hit the treadmill ALL while easily fitting it into your lifestyle plan.

Walking predominantly burns fat for fuel, can help burn a lot of extra calories, can help reduce stress if approached properly, and is extremely safe on joints and muscle mass. So if you’re looking to cut some calories but at a very low stress/demand approach – this is your go to.

Just walk more. Don’t overthink it.

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METCONS

For metcons, you are  training bodyweight strength movements, in a high intensity fashion. Your heart rate is cranked, metabolism jumps up, and you can possibly even build some muscle. It is a great fat loss cardio method; it just works.

The benefits are that you’re promoting full body movement patterns in a way that can apply to and benefit much more than just cardio alone.