Whenever fitness routines come up in the conversation and people hear that we both lift weights, we often hear the question, “but how do you get your cardio?”
The definition of cardiovascular exercise is any activity that raises the heart rate. Contrary to popular belief, doing cardio does NOT just include treadmills, stairmasters, and ellipticals. That’s the beauty of creating your own programming or choosing to follow programming that includes metabolic conditioning and movements that tend to raise the heart rate.
Deadlifting for sets of 10? Kettlebell swings? Goblet squats with a pulse? Complexes with cleans, front squats, and jerks? I could go on and on, but these movements can be adapted to raise the heart rate.
There are days when I don’t feel like breaking a sweat or getting out of breath, but I still want to fit in a lift. Those are the days when I focus on low-rep upper body compound movements, like overhead pressing and benching. I’ll follow it with accessory movements, like bicep curls and tricep extensions. If I want to modify those to get my heart rate higher, I’ll superset the movements with things like kettlebell swings, dumbbell snatches, or burpees. Lifting weights can easily be adapted to be a slow, non-sweaty workout, or a “leave you on the floor” kind of deal.
A fantastic example of a workout that involves weights and NO “cardio equipment” is the partner workout featured in this post here.
Our point in sharing all of this is that if you find the treadmill as boring as we do, you can easily get in your cardio in ways BEYOND the treadmill and elliptical!
After talking about why we work out together, we wanted to extend some help on how to make it work. Zach has competed in Strongman, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding. On the other hand, I simply like to lift weights to help me feel strong and stay active. He’s been lifting since the age of 16. I’ve been lifting for 2 and a half years. HOW can we make this work?
Do you have any tips for working out with a partner? If so, comment below! We’d love to hear what works for YOU!
These days, we tend to think we have found the perfect balance of working out together vs. apart. Some people may have ZERO interest in “fitness-ing” with a partner, but for us, it really makes a difference! We each listed our top 2 reasons to work out with a friend/spouse, partner.
You can find the top I’m wearing here: http://shopstyle.it/l/iDAC
The pants are old, but I linked the current style here: http://shopstyle.it/l/iDDg
Here are some articles we’re reading lately. If you have any favorites or responses, leave them below!
“Why Exercise is the Best Medicine for your Brain” — LA Times: a fascinating read!
“Stop the Gluten-Free Trend!“–Food , Pleasure & Health: want to send this to everyone who tells me something’s healthy, because it’s gluten-free.
“What the Health: A Wolf’s Eye Review” — Robb Wolf: in response to the panic that’s seemingly spreading.
“Coffee Break: 20 Favorite Fiction Books” — Emily Ley Blog: great list.
“Strength,Size or Power?”–For those who are looking to program their own workouts, or just have a better understanding of which set and rep schemes are best for their goals, then check this out!
“Animal Protein v.s Plant Protein”— Don’t let the title scare you, this one isn’t TOO controversial, just shedding some light on the protein quality as well as the IMPORTANCE of including a variety of vegetables into your diet!
Zach has always been an avid podcast listener. My podcast addiction started this summer when I found myself running errands and tackling projects that I put off during the school year. The music on the radio sucks, and I can only listen to Pat Green radio on Pandora for so many hours. I referenced Juli Bauer’s list of podcasts and started with Serial. I couldn’t stop, told everyone about it, and got my mom and sister hooked.
I tackled two series of Someone Knows Something and Accused, before my husband said I needed to quit with the true crime. So I moved on to the next topic that fascinates me: health, fitness, and nutrition. I started light with Paleomg Uncensored, and found myself CRACKING up in public. Juli Bauer of paleomg.com covers topics from Crossfit, Orange Theory, conquering sugar addiction, social media, and my favorite-the Bachelorette.
Serial: If you like a good episode of Law & Order: SVU or James Patterson mystery-esque novel, this is for you. I thought the Adnan series was better than Bergdahl, but still…if you’ve already listened, tell me what you think in the comments below.
Someone Knows Something: The first series was about a little boy, Adrien, who went missing while on a fishing trip with his dad, siblings, and family friends. He disappeared literally without a trace, and the journalist explores all sorts of possibilities. The end is fascinating, because they may or may not have found something to help the closed investigation. The second series was about a 20s-something girl named Cheryl who went missing the day after she became engaged on national TV. I’m 99.99% sure it was her boyfriend who killed her, because the situation is suuuuuper sketchy.
Accused: A college aged boy finds his girlfriend murdered in the apartment that they share and is immediately the number one suspect. He is tried for the murder (and again for “wrongful death”?-correct me if I’m wrong) and both times, the jury found him innocent. No other leads were officially investigated, but the journalist covers a lot of leads.
Girls Gone Wod: Two avid Crossfitters, Claire and Joy, have been podcasting for years together and are pretty funny. One is a new-ish mom and shares how that changed the fitness game for her. At first, I picked the ones I wanted to listen to, but then decided to go back to episode 1. I love hearing how they venture into so many different approaches to nutrition–vegan, paleo, macros, zone, and whole 30.
Fed & Fit: Cassy hits a lot of paleo topics, but she also talks about things like brown rice vs. white rice, healthy swaps you can make, how alcohol affects your fitness, and holistic health like non-toxic beauty and sleep health.
Rose Pricks: If you watch The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, this is a must. They totally roast the characters, which is a little mean, but it’s hilarious. Their imitations of Eric and Bryan’s mom have me CRACKING up, because they’re so accurate. They basically say what we’re all thinking about this silly show, anyway.
Zach’s favorites: Here are some of my recommendations as well as personal favorite podcasts!
Barbell Shrugged: This one is an oldie and a goody. The crew will cover anything an everything from CrossFit, to nutrition, alternative medicine and philosophy. Mike Bledsoe, Doug Larson and the rest of the crew have a wide array of interests and wildly different personalities, which helps to keep everything light hearted and interesting.
The JuggLife: Chad Wesley Smith and Max Aita do their best “Step Brothers” impression on the podcast, full of dry sarcasm and an infinite knowledge of strength sport, programming, competition tips and analysis of some of the best 80s and 90s films. If you love barbells, cheesy jokes and some of the best guests in Strength Sport then this is a great podcast for you.
Mark Bell’s Powercast: The podcast that started it all for me, this may be the single greatest combination of some of the greatest guests in training and barbell sport, business, jokes that make you absolutely laugh out loud and a little bit of knowledge here and there. From the biggest names in CrossFit, Powerlifting Strongman and even celebrity trainers and the biggest personalities in business. Caution things can get a little immature…but if you find that hilarious like me, then you’re in for a treat.
Power Athlete Radio: With over a decade playing in the NFL John Welbourn has some of the greatest stories from life inside and outside of the league. Joining him are Luke Summers and Tex, all great coaches who routinely drop knowledge bombs about training, nutrition, lifestyle and talk shop about hunting, cars and the NFL life. With some of the most knowledgeable guests from barbell sport, former NFL players, military personnel and some of the brightest minds in medicine and nutrition this is a podcast you will definitely want to listen to. Prepare for some of the driest and most berating humor you can imagine, its like being in a high school locker room all over again.
We’ve added one meal into rotation to have once a week. When I was younger, I called it “sausage chicken” and the name stuck. It’s super easy and nutritious, so I thought I’d share it with you! There are few measurements to this recipe, because it’s that simple
We typically serve this with any greens. Okra, zucchini, or asparagus are our favorites right now.
When Zach and I first started dating, my roommate and I joked that she would make flashcards and quiz me on all the “CrossFit” terminology that he regularly used. Many of these are not actually affiliated with CrossFit, but once upon a time, I assumed everything that wasn’t Flywheel or Yoga to be CrossFit. After asking for clarification a million times, I’ve gotten most of them down. That learning curve wasn’t easy, so I thought I’d save you some googling and organize everything here.
WOD: Workout of the Day: self-explanatory. Many organizations post their own programming each day, so it’s called a WOD.
Metcon: Metabolic Conditioning: usually intense breathers, also functional training shoes from Nike (linked below)
AMRAP: As Many Rounds (or reps) As Possible: These usually have a certain time attached to them & you complete a certain movement/set of movements as many times as possible in that time period. Example: 5 min. AMRAP of 10 burpees, 10 squats, 10 push-ups OR 3 min. AMRAP 150-lb back squat.
For Time: There would be a set amount of movements and you just do them as fast as you can!
EMOM: Every Minute on the Minute: Movement(s) to be done on the minute. When complete, rest until the next minute.
PR: Personal record
CTB or C2B: Chest to Bar: a pull-up variation
Tabata: 20 sec work + 10 sec rest for 4 minutes
Reverse tabata: 10 sec work + 20 sec rest for 4 minutes
RX: “prescribed”: doing the workout exactly as it’s programmed vs. scaled (see below)
Scaled: programmers will often provide scaled down versions to make the workout achievable for everyone. I.E. lighter weights or box step-ups instead of box jumps.
1RM: 1 rep max. A lot of programming calls for doing a lift at a certain percentage of your one-rep max. It helps give you an idea of just how heavy a certain workout should be.
#X#: Whichever number is first is the amount of sets you do. Whichever number is second is the amount of reps you do! Example 3X2 = 3 sets of 2.
This week, we had the opportunity to try out Speed Flex in Dallas. We were stunned to find out that the studio has been open for 3 years! It is the first of its type in the entire country. This 30 minute class uses machines that elicit isokinetic contractions. This class is meant to provide a personalized intensity of workout, because it’s resistance-based, meaning it allows for “a professional athlete to train alongside a retiree”. There should be little to no muscle soreness after taking the class, because it is made up of solely concentric movements. The class we took was a HIIT-type modified Tabata, spending 20 sec at each station & 8 sec to rotate. We wore heart rate monitors around our chest, and mine said that I burned 360 calories in 30 minutes. I did wear my Polar watch, as well, but that only said I burned 180. It was a fun upbeat class, and we would definitely attend again! Info can be found at the link below.
Two years ago, my friend invited me to a 5:30am Flywheel class before work. It took a couple invitations to get me to go, and even when I did, I was half asleep for the first ten minutes. These days, I bop into the gym around 4:15 bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (for the most part). Here are my secrets:
I’d love to know when YOU like to workout and how that helps you!
On Saturday, we went for a walk along the Katy Trail in Dallas. Once upon a time, I lived Uptown and brought Zach to the Katy Trail on his first trip down to visit me. Maybe it’s the sentimental part of us or maybe its just the paved shaded path, but this is one of our favorite places to get some outdoor activity. We love to park near Knox/Henderson, grab a coffee at Starbucks and walk about 1.5 miles and back. If you haven’t checked it out, definitely give it a visit.