Fitness
Why You Won’t Catch Us Doing “Cardio”

Why You Won’t Catch Us Doing “Cardio”

 

 

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!

TOP//WUNDER UNDERS//METCON 3                                                    TANK//SHORTS(SIMILAR)//SHOES

How-To: Work Out with Your S.O./BFF

How-To: Work Out with Your S.O./BFF

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?

 

  1. Scale the workout: This is a popular CrossFit term, but it basically just means making the same workout accessible to two different people, based on strength and skill level. That way, you’re both working the same muscle groups and “suffering” together. An example:
    • 5 rounds:
      • 200m farmers carry: He used 65lb DBs in each hand, I used 25lb DBs
      • 20 push-ups: He did push-ups, I did incline push-ups on a tire
      • 10 DB push jerks: He used 60lb DBs, I used 25lb DBs
  2. Partner workouts: Choose a set of reps and movements. Person A completes as many as they can of the movement until he/she can no longer go. Once person A puts the weight down to rest, person B carries on with as many as he/she can handle, until you reach the total reps. This past weekend, we tried working it out a different way. We shared some of the equipment and just took turns until each person completed:
    • 30 hang power cleans
    • 60 kettlebell swings
    • 30 step-ups each leg
    • 60 goblet squats
    • 60 dumbbell snatches
    • 60 abmat sit-ups
  3. Separate between being the S.O./BFF and being the coach: This was certainly a tricky one for me having been a coach/personal trainer for the last six years. I am very accustomed to pushing people, correcting form, and well….being a coach or a teacher in the weight room. I am not so accustomed to having a workout partner that just wants to have fun, get stronger and get their heart rate up. This is a very fine line. My wife is a badass…but she really doesn’t have any aspirations of competing or trying to set any state or national records. She does this because she knows it is important to me, but she has also grown to love it. Your S.O. may not want to be a National Champion, they just want to have fun and spend time with you. If your partner looks like they are going to hurt themselves or they are really missing the mark with form or technique then absolutely (respectfully) correct them and offer them advice. But do remember: they are there for their own reasons and their own motives that must be respected and appreciated.

 

LAUREN: Top // Shorts // Shoes // Watch ZACH: Top //Shorts // Shoes // Socks // Watch

Do you have any tips for working out with a partner? If so, comment below! We’d love to hear what works for YOU!

4 reasons to work out with your S.O./BFF

4 reasons to work out with your S.O./BFF

 

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.

  1. You have someone to check your form: While your partner may not be certified as a trainer, it still helps to have someone to look at your form while working out. A second set of eyes may notice that you’re not hitting squat depth, that your hands are spaced unevenly, or that your posture needs correcting.
  2. You have a reason to push that extra mile: I mean that in a figurative way, because you won’t catch me going any miles. Zach is super helpful when he tells me that a lift looks way easier than it may feel to me. If the bar is moving faster than I think it is, it motivates me to put more weight on. Another one of his tricks is to slide weights onto the bar that he knows I can handle and not tell me how much I’m lifting. If I brace myself to lift heavy WITHOUT the mental struggle of having a goal in mind, I can usually gear myself up to do something I wouldn’t otherwise do.
  3. You have great motivation: Some days it just isn’t there for me. Whether its been a long day, the caffeine isn’t kicking in or weights just feel way too heavy. When those days come around, it’s great to have someone to either share your seat on the struggle bus, or pull energy from. Sometimes neither of us are in the mood to push it but once we get going we tend to build off of each other. Lauren is like the “Energizer Bunny” and seems to gain steam the longer we go, this usually forces me to want to keep up with her. Other days I don’t want to do anything, but I will see her pushing the weights or pace and hitting a PR and that motivates me to throw more weight on the bar and go for it!
  4. You have encouragement when you fail: This is a big one for me, sometimes that bar feel too darn heavy, or I get out of position because of tightness or my technique fails. Like most of us, I can get frustrated pretty easily and want to just say “Screw it!!”. Lauren does not let me get away with this one (unless I’m putting myself at a risk for injury) and will be the first one to call me out and tell me “you’ve got this, take another crack at it.” Even if that means 3, 4, 5 more cracks at it. Even if I wind up not hitting the weight in the end, at least I know that I gave it my all, and that my wife believed in me and pushed me to empty the tank!

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

 

Link Share

Link Share

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!

 

Podcasts

Podcasts

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.

A few other health & fitness favorites are Girls Gone Wod and Fed & Fit.

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.

 

Weekly Workouts + Recipe

Weekly Workouts + Recipe

 

Recipe:

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

  1. Place however much chicken on a pan. Place 1 tsp of butter on each breast or tender of chicken.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Flip the chicken over. Add chicken andouille sausage all throughout the pan. Make sure it’s cut up so that the flavor can permeate the chicken.
  4. Some of the butter will have melted in the pan. Spoon it over the chicken again.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. DONE! 🙂

We typically serve this with any greens.  Okra, zucchini, or asparagus are our favorites right now.

Workout Lingo

Workout Lingo

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

KB: Kettlebell

DB: Dumbbell

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.

Weekly Workouts + Speed Flex + PR

Weekly Workouts + Speed Flex + PR

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.


How to Work Out in the Morning

How to Work Out in the Morning

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:

  1. Great tasting pre-workout: I don’t know about you, but I crave sweets in the morning. A donut? Waffle? Muffins? Yes, please. So a sweet pre-workout can literally get me out of bed. My favorites right now are  PEScience prolific in raspberry lemonade OR Optimum Nutrition in Blueberry Lemonade. I try to drink this as I’m getting dressed and gathering my things. That way, the caffeine has started to set in by the time I walk into the gym and start warming-up.
  2.  Go to bed: I’m always exhausted in the evening times. It’s the nature of my job. But knowing I can get up and get a good morning workout in always motivates me to close my eyes when I want to keep scrolling Instagram or reading my book. I personally don’t feel the need to use it, but the bedtime alarm system on the iPhone is fascinating!
  3. Remind yourself of the benefits: Fitness at anytime won’t hurt, but these articles are great to read if you need a little push in the right direction. #1: Bodybuilding.com or #2: Cosmopolitan.com
  4. Make use of the extra time in the day: This really turned into a habit for me when I was planning a wedding. I was constantly meeting with vendors after school and knew that if I waited to work out, it wasn’t going to happen. If I work out in the morning and want to go to happy hour with a friend, I can, because I’ve already worked out. I can stay as late as I want at work (which isn’t late!), or I can take a nap–is there any better motivation than that?
  5. Find your Mindset: When people ask (because they do…often) WHY on Earth I would workout at 4:15am, I always respond with my true reasoning. I’m not trying to lose a certain amount of weight or get in shape fast. It’s mental. If I can get up and workout for an hour BEFORE I start my day, I know I can handle whatever the day throws at me. Lifting heavy weights by 4:30am reinforces the idea that I am strong, and if I’m strong in the gym, I can be strong in my classroom and in my family. And besides? Have you heard of an endorphin rush? I’m a much nicer person when I’ve worked out in the morning.

I’d love to know when YOU like to workout and how that helps you!

 

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

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.

Dallas Fitness Ambassadors
  • This egg-in-a-hole from @presscafefwtx put all others to shame. Prosciutto, fontina, and cheddar on the yummiest bread. New favorite #datespot 🍳🍞
  • Today on the blog, we are answering the dreaded question: "but how do you get your #cardio?!" SPOILER ALERT: it doesn't include squatting your wife.
  • @g2gbar has become a favorite for both of us! The ingredient list on these bars makes you feel really good about what you're eating! Thanks to @equippingstrength for sending some of these our way!
  • Vanilla-cinnamon oatmeal with coconut cream & fresh berries. Don't be surprised if we drive back to Fort Worth to eat this again tomorrow 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • Today I taught a health lesson on reading nutrition labels. The conversation among 10-year olds quickly turned to:
1️⃣Fat is bad for you. 
2️⃣No, carbs are bad. Carbs make you fat. 
3️⃣Don't eat too many calories. 
How do we change our conversations about food from what NOT to eat ➡️ how certain foods can serve our bodies. I.E.:
1️⃣Fats promote hormone balance and brain function.
2️⃣Carbs are our primary source of energy.
3️⃣Let's focus on macro/micronutrients instead. 
If we can keep things this simple, we can start to focus on the benefits of food rather than the misconceptions.
  • ✨🍁CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR GIVEAWAY WINNER @shellelizabeth1 🍁✨We hope you enjoy your $275 gift card to @Target! Have fun on your shopping trip! Please DM @lifestyledbyleena in order to claim your prize!
  • It seems like everyone is talking about macros-protein, fat, and carbs: super important, but we often forget to talk about MICROnutrients. I personally get into a rut with choosing go-to foods day after day, BUT the foundation for building a rounded, balanced day means including things like fruits and vegetables every. single. day. 🍎🍇🌽🥕 The micronutrients found on this plate have been proven to support energy & brain function, an active metabolism, and a healthy complexion & hair. 💇🏻 To see a list, look in the comments ⬇️
  • This cool fall weather 🍁🍂means it's time to take those workouts outside! I absolutely love outdoor workouts and my go to workout tools are my @onnit kettle-bells! You simply cannot beat the versatility of the kettle-bell. Here's my top 5 go to movements.
1. KB Swing
2. KB Deadlift
3. Single Arm KB Push Press
4. KB Suitcase Carry
5. KB Goblet Squat
  • Is this fall weather in DFW making anyone else want to grab a novel, some hot coffee, and spend the day on the couch? We both blogged our top 5 recent reads--link in bio! 🍁☕️📚