Love Out Loud

Love yourself. Love Others. Love Fitness.

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Get off the hamster wheel!

Seeing that I have to actually run on a trail in a month and a half, I figured today I would get off the treadmill and onto the road. I ran about a mile and a half around my neighborhood complete with some killer hills. If you are training for a race, or if you want a true test of how much you can run, I suggest the same for all of you that are slaves to the treadmill. Since we aren’t hamsters, we are able to get off the wheel and get out of the cage.

Running on the road is a very different from a treadmill, obviously. First and foremost, to me, running on a treadmill is boring!! (I do it, but I’m bored). Running outside gives you something to look at while you’re huffing and puffing. Also, treadmills help you run.  That just makes sense; you are running on something that is moving. On the road, you have to push yourself off the ground with no assistance. Then, there’s the fact that, on a treadmill, you are most likely inside a gym or your house and therefore have no air resistance. Air resistance is going to make running at your normal pace a little more difficult. There’s also the terrain to take into consideration.  On a treadmill, you have a flat surface the whole time. Outside, you are most like on an uneven surface (even on a road) and your muscles react differently to those surfaces.  With all of these factors thrown in, if you need to walk or rest sooner than you would on a treadmill, ITS OK! You haven’t lost your mojo, you’re just putting it to use in a different way.

So mix it up, guys! If you run three times a week, make one of those a road run. Let’s leave the wheels to the hamsters.

Happy sweating!

2/27/12 Workout…back to the grindstone

It felt so good to be back at the gym again. After my workout on Friday (or was it Thursday? I can’t remember), Little Man started feeling bad again. Without going into too much detail, the diapers were bad and I didn’t trust them to stay clean while I worked out. Plus, I didn’t want to be THAT mom who exposes other children to whatever her kid has. Little Man was great this morning, so we packed up and headed to the gym. No work out partner, because whatever Little Man had, Tracy had it 10x worse. She’s just getting over it today. Her hubby had it too…apparently our little circle is carrying the Plague around.

Our training schedule has been thrown off a little because of all this sickness, but not to worry, I had an week built into it for just such an occasion. This week will be a little weird, but next Monday we can get back on track. Today was a fairly easy day. I ran the latest interval routine that I made, and then did a couple full body strength exercises. Here is the interval training in case you’ve missed it before:

  • Min 1-8  Warm up  (mine is a 3.5-4)
  • Min 8-13 Moderate intensity (baseline)  (5.5 for me)
  • Min 13-14 Moderate high intensity (7.0)
  • Min 14-16 Baseline (5.5)
  • Min 16-17 High intensity (8.0)
  • Min 17-19 Low intensity (3.5)
  • Min 19-22 Baseline (5.5)
  • Min 22-23 Sprint (9.0)
  • Min 23-26 Baseline (5.5)
  • Min 26-27 Low intensity (4.0)
  • Min 27-30 cool down (3.5)

Now remember, you don’t have to do my numbers, they are just there as an example. If you haven’t been running very much, your sprint might be an 8.

The full body workout was just three exercises, 1 minute work, 1 minute rest, 2 times through.

  • Medicine ball slam: Hold a medicine ball above your head, squat down and slam the ball down at the same time. As you stand, bring the ball above your head again. Repeat. (This might take a couple seconds to get a good rhythm down)
  • Man Maker: Start in push-up position with each of your hands on a dumbbell.  I chose 10 lbs. Do a push-up, come back to push-up position, pull one elbow straight up holding the weight, put it down, pull the other elbow up. Stand up and press both dumbbells over your head. Get back down to push-up position. (Modify by doing the push-up on your knees and using a lower weight)
  • Kettle bell swing

The Man Maker made me feel awesome, and I’m pretty sure I got some approving glances from the guys in the gym haha. Take that fellas! Again, it felt amazing to be back in the gym. I now realize how much I rely on that time to de-stress and just have some me time. Being trapped in a house with a sick 20 month old isn’t very conducive to alone time. Remember, don’t use a setback as an excuse to quit completely. Recognize the setback, deal with it, then go full steam ahead once you’re able.

Happy sweating!

2/24/2012 workout…just keep sweating

Today’s workout was the exact same as Monday’s.  Here’s the short link to that  Since I was feeling a little lazy last night, I didn’t really feel like making up a new one and if it kicked our butts on Monday, it would do it today too. Well, I’m not sure what happened, but today was SO MUCH WORSE. Each minute seemed like it was 5! And the one legged burpees w/ a push-up seemed to be a lot harder than they were on Monday.

I do have a theory for why I was off my game this morning. (I can’t speak for Tracy b/c she actually went on a killer road run yesterday…wait, that’s probably why she was tired lol). My problem was that Little Man was sick the past two days so I didn’t work out and I didn’t eat as well as I should have.  I was definitely putting gas in my diesel engine all day yesterday. But you know what? Its ok…I had a set back and I’m going to rise above it instead of let it pull me down. We all have set-backs. You are a not a failure if you eat too much sugar one day or skip a couple workouts. Its called life people, it happens. Kids get sick, cravings happen, knees get injured, and sometimes you just get down. As long as you push through it and don’t let it take control of you, you’re fine. Get up the next day, go work out and start on your healthy eating again.  Don’t let your bad days define who you are.

Just keep sweating, just keep sweating…

Pre and Post Workout Food

In order to maximize your time spent at the gym, no matter how much time you actually spend there, you need to nourish your body before and after you workout. By this time, hopefully you are seeing food as fuel instead of as comfort or punishment or guilt or whatever else you see food as. All food is just fuel for your body, although some food is like putting regular unleaded into a diesel engine. It just doesn’t make you go and damages your engine.

Pre-Workout Nourishment

Before you work out, you need to eat in order to fuel your body, give yourself energy, and maximize your performance at the gym. Also, the right food will help you recover and prepare for your next gym session. It’s best to eat at least an hour before you hit the gym so you can give your body ample time to absorb the nutrients you’ve just fed it. First thing’s first, you want to be hydrated when you get to the gym, so drink 20 oz of water before you go. Drink water as you work out, and plenty afterward.  As I’ve talked about in the past, carbohydrates give you energy, so it makes sense that you’d want to include them in your pre-workout snack or meal. You want to consume slow-burning complex carbs such as fruit, veggies, whole grain bread, rice, pasta, and cereals. You also want to add moderate to fast digesting protein to your pre-workout snack. Examples of these are egg whites, low calorie fish, turkey and chicken breast, whey protein and soy protein. If you’re going to be strength training, take in about .1 grams of protein for every pound you weigh, and .2 grams of carbs for every pound.  For an endurance cardio workout, .1 grams of protein still works but up your carb intake to .4 grams/lb. If you’re going for a fat burning cardio session, cut out the carbs altogether, but make sure you’re still taking in the protein. A good snack for you would be two hard boiled large white eggs or 1 1/2 oz of canned light tuna. If you’re going to be combining strength and cardio, the .1 gram of protein and .2 grams of carbs is a good rule, but you can go to slower digesting protein such as dairy, beef, and nuts since those workouts tend to go longer.

In general, here are some good pre-workout foods (combine the protein and carbs):

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • String cheese
  • Trail mix
  • Yogurt
  • Energy bars
  • Oatmeal
  • Almonds
  • Pasta (whole wheat and allow 2-3 hours for digestion)
  • Lentils
  • Whey protein blended in water
  • 1 1/2 oz canned light tuna

Post Workout Nourishment

If the pre-workout snack was for fuel and maximizing performance, then the post-workout snack or meal is for optimizing the recovery process. Your body now needs amino acids, which it can get from proteins, and it also need glycogen, which is the storage form of sugar that gives your body its energy. Glycogen comes from carbs. So, just like the pre-workout meal, your post-workout meal needs to consist of carbs and protein. Avoid fats, even good ones, because they cause slower absorption of the other nutrients.  You need to consume your post-workout snack within an hour of working out. This is referred to as the “Golden Hour” because your body is primed to absorb what it needs.  If you are working out to lose weight, you need to eat more protein than carbs, but if you want to enjoy some carbs that you wouldn’t usually eat, this is the best time to do it since your body will not store them as fat.

Here are some suggestions for a post-workout snack/meal:

  • Protein shake
  • Protein shake with a banana (potassium!)
  • Chicken w/ rice or white potatoes (high glycemic source)
  • Hummus on a whole grain pita
  • toasted bagel w/ almond butter
  • dried fruits and nuts
  • tuna and whole wheat crackers
  • salmon, mashed potatoes (remember, you need glucose, so these are ok) and a salad
  • cereal and skim milk
  • egg white and spinach omelet
  • fruit smoothie
  • cottage cheese and fruit

Happy snacking and happy sweating!


Thanks to Alexandra H. for the idea for this blog entry. 🙂

2/21/12 Workout

I just realized there is nothing but two’s and one’s in today’s date.  Ah, the little things that make you laugh. Anyway, today I amped our intervals up to 30 minutes and changed the intensity a little bit. At one point, we run at a 9 for a full minute, and I’m not going to lie, it was a little intimidating. Tracy was a little nervous because she tweaked her knee yesterday during plyos, but we still tried it and totally rocked it out. This just goes to show you that your body can do things that your mind thinks it can’t. Never be afraid to try. The only way you fail at life is if you never try. Here’s our new interval routine for the next couple weeks (I’m going to put what intensity you should be at and use our speeds as examples):

  • Min 1-8,  warm-up speed, 3.5-4.0
  • Min 8-13, moderate speed, your baseline, where you feel most comfortable, 5.5
  • Min 13-14, moderately high intensity, 7.0
  • Min 14-16, back to baseline, 5.5
  • Min16-17, high intensity, 8.0
  • Min 17-19, low intensity, 3.5
  • Min 19-22, baseline, 5.5
  • Min 22-23, sprint, 9.0
  • Min 23-24, low intensity, 3.5
  • Min 24-26, baseline, 5.5
  • Min 26-30, cool down, 3.5 and below

At minute 17, I had planned for us to stay at baseline again, but we had to bring it down a little lower than that, so I adjusted it. I had planned for us to do a minute at 9 twice, but I don’t think we are ready for that yet, and I was worried about Tracy’s knee. This just shows you that you can modify and tweak things as you workout. Pay attention to your bodies, listen to them.

After our exhilarating run (I say exhilarating because knowing you can run at a 9.0 on the treadmill for a minute is a huge adrenaline rush), we did a quick lower body workout.  Work for one minute, rest for one minute, two times through.

  • squats, 40 lbs (Tracy did no weight b/c of her knee, I add this because I want those of you with injuries to know you can still rock it out, but there’s no need to hurt yourself further.)
  • lunges, no weight
  • dead lifts, 40 lbs
  • wall sit

Good luck and happy sweating!!

2/20/12 Workout: Feeling like a Bad Ass

Week one of training for the Warrior Dash has officially started. Last week we kind of started, but since its Monday and the beginning of a new week, we’ll call this the official start date. Since the Warrior Dash involves more than just running, strength training had to be incorporated into the routine. This is what our days will look like over the next couple weeks:

  • Monday: upper body exercises, plyos, core
  • Tuesday: interval running, lower body exercises
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: interval running, full body exercises
  • Friday: upper body, plyos, core
  • Saturday: interval running
  • Sunday: rest

The reason we are doing interval training instead of straight running, is for two reasons: 1) running for 30 minutes straight is super boring for me 2)the Warrior Dash isn’t just straight running. Like in interval training, our heart rates will be up and down throughout the course.

Today’s workout was pretty awesome. There is one exercise that, if you can master it, it will make you feel like a total bad ass.

  • Warm-up, treadmill, 10 minutes, 3.5
  • Upper body exercises: 1 minute work, 1 minute rest, 2 times through
  • Pull-ups
  • Dips
  • Chest Fly, 8 lbs
  • Halo w/ kettleball (while holding the kettlebell by the handle, move it around your head like a halo)
  • Plyos: 10 each
  • One legged burpee w/ push-up (AWESOME ALERT!)
  • Frogger jump
  • Plie Jump
  • Box Jump
  • Lateral Box Jump
  • Core: 1 minute work, 1 minute rest
  • Straight let flutter
  • Superman
  • V-sit cruches
  • Plank

One legged burpee with push-up looks like a regular burpee, only you do it all on one leg and when you have jumped your leg back, you do a push-up. After 10, your leg will be screaming at you. In the frogger jump, you start in push-up position and jump your legs toward your hands so you look like a frog, then jump them back. With the plie jump, you start in a wide squat then jump tucking your legs so your heels come together. To modify this, you can keep your legs straight instead of tucking them. I think you guys can figure everything else out.

Good luck and happy sweating!

Quick thoughts about kids and health…

This article hit home with me, since I have a 20 month old. I’m always worried about whether or not he’s getting enough activity. Turns out, he might not be. In these rainy winter months (here in Texas, winter is defined by dreary rainy days, not snow), how do we get the optimal activity time for our children? I’m more worried for those of you who do live in very cold, snowy winters. Summers are easy, but its the winters where we need imagination as parents. Can we steal some from our kids?

If we don’t get our kids moving, we will start seeing more stories like this one:

We are having to get bigger desks to make room for all the obese children in this country. That is freakin’ ridiculous. In my opinion, if a kid needs a bigger desk because he or she is obese, then the parents should have to pay for it. After all, they are the ones that caused his or her problem. Yes, I’m blaming parents! Sure, there is a small percentage of obese children who can blame their situation on a thyroid problem or a glandular problem, but its small. Kids don’t teach themselves how to eat. Parents do. And parents supply the food.  As a former teacher, I know this generation is a very entitled, instant gratification seeking generation. And the parents who take little Johnny to McDonald’s everyday because he throws a fit, aren’t helping. If my kid throws a fit, we sure as hell aren’t going to McDonald’s or anywhere for that matter. As a nation, we need to stop pacifying our children with candy and cokes and cookies, and start teaching them how to eat properly. Teach them what a normal serving size is. Teach them to listen to their bodies and know when they are full. Teach them that riding an actual bike is a bigger thrill than pushing buttons so an avatar can ride a bike.  If you’re already behind, I’m not going to lie, it will be a difficult road to teach your kid healthy habits, but wouldn’t you rather suffer hardship now that have your child suffer later on down the road? I know I would.

“Who is torturing you like that?” 2/17/12 workout

“Who is torturing you like that?” This came out of a girl’s mouth as she watched Tracy and I do our first plyometric workout in our Warrior Dash training. I laughed when she said this and proudly raised my hand. Although, we don’t really see it as torture; we like to work out and like to push ourselves. The girl and her grandpa (or dad, we really couldn’t figure it out) watched us for a bit, shook their heads and moved on to their not as awesome weight routine.

Plyometric exercises aim to improve your ability to use your strength more rapidly. They work on explosiveness and agility. When you’re doing these exercises, your goal is to touch the floor or ball or whatever you’re using the least amount of time possible. For example, with tuck jumps, your feet stay on the floor only as long as needed to jump up again. Since plyos are so high in intensity, your rest time in between exercises should be longer. It is recommended that you use a 1:10 ratio, meaning if you do an exercise for 20 seconds, you should rest for 200.  Tracy and I rested for as long as it took for us to catch our breath, usually just over a minute.  A word to the wise, if you are just starting a workout routine, plyos are probably not for you right now. They are pretty intense. If you want to start incorporating them into your routine, start with lower intensity exercises like squat jumps and tuck jumps.

This was our workout today. We did 10 reps of each and did it two times through.

  • Warm-up on treadmill 10:00 (a warm-up with plyos is crucial)
  • Squat jumps (lower your body into a squat and immediately jump as high as you can throwing your arms in the air)
  • box jumps (find a platform, it can be as low as a step, and face it. Then lower your body into a squat, immediately jump up onto the platform, step off and repeat)
  • lateral box jumps (stand to the side of the platform and jump onto the box, step off, repeat)
  • tuck jumps (jump into the air bringing your knees toward your chest)
  • zigzag hops (find a line or something similar on the floor, and start on one side, with both feet jump to the other side and continue in a zigzag motion)
  • drop jumps (start at the top of a platform and step off, as soon as your feet hit the floor, jump as high as you can, step back onto the box, repeat)
  • medicine ball drop (your partner will stand on a platform and you lay with your head at the base of the platform, hold your hands at your chest, your partner will drop a medicine ball into your hands, catch it and throw it back up as quickly as possible)
  • Stretch

A word to the wise with the medicine ball drop: make sure your partner drops the ball toward your chest and not your face. Its pretty scary the first time you do it and if the ball falls through your hands, it doesn’t feel good. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.
Good luck and happy sweating!!

2/16/2012 Workout

Today Tracy and I started our training for the Warrior Dash. We ran the intervals that I’ve done a couple times in the past. We had to modify it a little bit since we both have been off the treadmill for a couple weeks. Instead of resting for one minute, we rested for two, and had to change some stuff at the end, but we still rocked it out.

  • min 1-3  3.5 (warm-up)
  • min 3-5  4.5
  • min 5-8  6.5
  • min 8-9  7.0
  • min 9-11 3.5 (rest)
  • min 11-13 6.5
  • min 13-14 7.2
  • min 14-16 3.5 (rest)
  • min 16-18 7.0
  • min 18-20 3. 5 (cool down)

In total, we clocked 1.65 miles in 20 minutes. That’s halfway through a 5K and since we are just starting the training, I say not bad! Afterwards, we did this ab workout that I came across and really wanted to do, and you can always work your core more. It focuses mainly on the obliques or your side abs. Modify the weighted exercises to your ability, but everything else you pretty much have to do as is.

  • 30 jumping jacks
  • 50 Russian twists, 10 lb medicine ball
  • 20 side leg lifts/side (we felt like we were back in the 80’s with this move, but still effective)
  • 10 lying leg lifts
  • 5 dumbbell side bends/side, 12 lbs
  • 40 Russian twists, 10 lb medicine ball
  • 5 side plank rotations/side
  • 20 hip twists in plank (these really only work when you’re on your elbows and toes, so off those knees!)
  • 10 jumping jacks
  • 40 Russian twists, 10 lb medicine ball
  • 50 bicycles (my arch enemy)
  • 5 side plank dips/side
  • 20 oblique crunches/side (make sure you’re pulling your shoulder toward your opposite knee, not your elbow)
  • 10 double legged side lifts/side
  • 5 dumbbell side bends/side, 12 lbs
  • 60 Russian twists, 10 lb medicine ball
  • 50 jumping jacks

This was just awesome. We had to laugh at ourselves during the plank rotations b/c you feel totally retarded doing them.

Good luck and happy sweating!

I am a Warrior!

The hubs and I did the Warrior Dash last year and it was so much fun. This year, since Hubs is off serving the country, I’m recruiting a couple friends to do it with me this year. If you haven’t heard of the Warrior Dash here’s the 4-1-1. Its a 5K (for you non-metric people, that’s 3.2 miles), but it has crazy obstacles every so often. I’m not a huge fan of running so this is perfect for me. The obstacles range from cargo nets to crawling through muddy water to jumping over fire. Its pretty extreme, but any fitness level can participate. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t climb, just skip that obstacle. Rules aren’t really enforced, just don’t kick anyone in the face on purpose. (I say this because I almost had to do this to a guy who was rushing me on the cargo net last year.) These types of races are called Mud Runs or Adventure Races, so be on the lookout for ones near your town! They are so fun and a huge adrenaline rush. I’ve done two and am totally addicted.

We’ve signed up for April 22 and my workouts until then will be geared towards training for the race. There will be more running and more plyometrics (we already do a lot of those, but more wouldn’t hurt). Throw in some awesome upper and lower body workouts and we should be set to kick some ass. The race is more than just running, that’s why we need the other stuff thrown in. You may be able to run for miles, but if you have no upper body strength, that cargo net will be your demise.

Wish us luck and good luck to you if you follow my workouts! Happy sweating!

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