Archive for May 29, 2014

How I Quit Doing Cardio

This headline alone is probably going to get a lot of attention.

Cardio has got to be one of the most controversial topics in the fitness world. Lovers, haters, don’t really care-ers, you name it.

Disclaimer: If you are currently struggling with ED or in recovery and think that reading about this topic may result in a trigger effect or is a sensitive issue, please skip the rest of this post. I don’t want to offend or influence others, just share my personal experiences in hopes that they can help others. Everyone is different and knows how certain things affect their bodies and minds—it’s up to us to use our best judgment.

While everyone has their reason for loving cardio, hating cardio, love-hating cardio, etc. I wanted to share my personal story of why I quit cardio.

I knew for years that I did more cardio than was necessary. Even though I could honestly look a client in the eye and tell them they should focus on weight training and supplement with cardio, I was still doing it 5-6 days per week. I KNEW I didn’t need to logically, but emotionally, I NEEDED TO.

I had this fear in my head that if I stopped doing cardio, I would become an elephant with muscles. It’s true. Even though I knew this wouldn’t happen, I thought I was a freak of nature and that’s what would happen to me. It’s the same logic I have when I go in the ocean and think that if someone is going to get bitten by a shark, it’s going to be me. (butreallyitsgoingtobeme).

Over the years my focus has shifted several times. From wanting to be skinny, to wanting to be super lean and toned, to wanting to be muscular, to wanting to just be normal, to EVERYTHING ELSE YOU COULD EVER THINK OF. I’ve been training for 7 years straight, and to think that evolution of my training/mindset wouldn’t happen is silly. Of course it happened. It happens to anyone who trains for a long period of time. Goals change, life changes, and you make different decisions.

My focus finally shifted (although I had wanted it to shift much earlier than it actually did) to wanting to just be super fit and not being overly concerned with how I looked. I just wanted to eat healthy and feel good. I also wanted to be a fitness warrior. I’m an athlete and super competitive, so of course, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be a warrior, but I was always afraid of letting cardio go because somehow that would make me some kind of an elephant warrior. I didn’t want to be an elephant warrior, I just wanted to be a regular warrior.

To be quite honest, I can’t remember exactly when I stopped doing cardio, but I think it was sometime last September maybe. I remember texting and e-mailing back and forth with Bret and him telling me to basically just lift heavy a few times a week. He said to keep doing the other things I was doing (not cardio-related) but to focus on my heavy lifting sessions each week. He promised my body would change for the better. No crazy diets, just good clean eating (which I was already doing) and a heavy lifting routine. I like to think that I’ve gotten less stubborn with age (though many would probably argue), and I actually decided to trust Bret and go with it (Lord knows how many times him and I have argued back and forth because I just had to challenge what he told me…sorry Bret!!! :)). I literally just stopped doing cardio altogether and started lifting heavy again and adding in new things like bouldering. What happened as a result of these changes was exactly the opposite of the elephant warrior I feared I would become….

First of all, I had forgotten how much I loved lifting heavy. That amazing feeling of lifting heavy shit and feeling like you can take over the world. It’s freaking awesome and I’m not sure why I stopped doing it (in exchange for more functional training). Secondly, I noticed how much more energy I had for my lifting sessions. I didn’t have that drained feeling I was used to (shocker there!) and actually pushed harder than I thought I could most of the time.

Over time, I started mixing up the heavy lifting days with full body plyometric/functional days as well. This includes exercises like burpees, medicine ball slams/thrusters, KB swings, Box jumps, etc. I had done all of these in my workouts before, but always before or after a cardio session. I could rarely just let that be my workout alone. Because I NEEDED to do cardio too…

In addition to creating a stronger, fitter, more functional me, my body started changing too. My arms are more defined, my abs are showing more and more, my butt is looking better than ever, my back is pretty shredded these days and most importantly, I feel GOOD. I feel mentally and physically awesome and I don’t miss cardio a bit.

Do I do cardio from time to time? Yes I do. I do 20 minutes on the stairmill maybe once a week (or not at all) and…well that’s about it. It’s usually just because I have a lot of meetings on Mondays and I need a break from sitting. I don’t miss running for the time being (and if I ever do, I’ll go running when I feel like it, not because I “have” to), and I DEFINITELY don’t miss the long sessions on the treadmill. I’ve actually tried to hop on a few times just to pass time while I’m waiting for something and it’s just the most boring thing on the planet.

Now before I get backlash for saying “cardio is bad”, please understand that is not the case. I do NOTTTTTT think cardio is bad. Not one bit. And if you hate lifting weights and just want to do cardio, DO IT!!! It obviously has GREAT cardiovascular benefits (duh, hence the name) and keeps your heart ticking at a nice leisurely pace. Cardio is NOT bad, just so we’re clear.

MY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CARDIO WAS BAD. Because I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I was doing it to burn fat and stay in good cardiovascular shape, but knew it wasn’t necessary for me given the other activities that I do.

I train HARD. When I do a workout, I am sweating, my heart is POUNDING, and my breathing is heavy in almost every workout I do. I train like I’m training for an event. In fact, I’m often asked what I’m training for, but it’s just how I approach training. For me, training is not just an outlet, but a chance for me to prove to myself just how much I can do. I feel AMAZING when I push myself past my limits in the gym, and I treat it like I’m up against others. In my head, I don’t want anyone else to be more fit than I am, so I train with that mentality. I definitely get my cardiovascular benefits, and probably have more endurance now than I did when I was doing so much cardio.

My point in this post is to hopefully reach others out there who may also have a similar relationship with cardio. The people that aren’t out there running miles a day because they like running, but because they feel like they have to. To the people spending hours walking on a treadmill, not because they want to get a sweat for the day, but because they feel they HAVE to. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE I’M SPEAKING TO. Not the ones who enjoy it. Because if you enjoy running and biking and swimming….ENJOY THE HELL OUT OF IT. You’re doing a GOOD THING for your body, so don’t misinterpret me.

This is my personal story and it shouldn’t be the same as yours. It is merely to put some perspective on a struggle that I KNOW I am not alone in. I’ve had HUNDREDS of conversations with fellow fitness friends that go through the same struggle and I think it is important to show others that it doesn’t have to be that way and that you WILL NOT become an elephant if you stop doing cardio.

I’d love to hear your stories as well. Feel free to e-mail me if you’d like at FitLizzio@gmail.com.

Do you do cardio because you like it or because you feel like you have to?

Do you feel you have a good or bad relationship with cardio?

 

Memorial Weekend Re-Cap + Fitness for the Week

Ohhhh wow. It sure has been some time since I’ve posted anything here!

You know how it goes….a day goes by…then another….

I didn’t mean to go all invisible on you guys there, but I just got busy and well…HERE I AM.

So what’s been UP?! I’ve been up to the same old things….boxing, rock climbing, working out, working…but definitely missed blogging! So let’s get right back into some regularly scheduled blogging by starting with my weekly fitness plan!

Weekly Fitness Plan 5/26-6/1

Monday: OFF (Sunday we worked out and played volleyball all day, so a rest day was needed!)

Tuesday: 20 minutes on the stairmill (mostly to clear my head from back to back meetings) + Boxing at ABA

Wednesday: Legs/Booty + Bouldering

Thursday: Upper Body + Boxing

Friday: Crossfit

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: Full Body

As you can see, I’ve added a 2nd day of boxing into my routine. I’m just absolutely LOVING it. I literally think I sweat out LAST Memorial Day’s shenanigans in class last night. So. Sweaty. I actually went to the grocery store after class and was embarrassed by how wet my tank top was. I normally don’t care, but this was a whole new level. Sorry Ralph’s shoppers.

Memorial Weekend Re-Cap

I mentioned that we played volleyball this past Sunday. It’s been about a year since the last time I played and I forgot how much fun it is! I knew we would be out in the sun all day, so I was determined to NOT get a sunburn like I always do. I did it all right….I put sunscreen on my face, my arms, my legs, my shoulders and chest, and had Charlie lather up my back.

Got home…..bright red stomach. I forgot to put sunscreen on my friggin’ stomach. I WAS SO CLOSE. Next time, Lizzy…next time….

Aside from a day at the beach, we laid pretty low, relaxed, sat in traffic (because that’s just what happens on a holiday weekend in LA), ate some good meals (Burger Lounge has the key to heart, FYI), and watched some Bob’s Burgers. That show is HILARIOUS. Since watching the show, I have actually started to break out in song when I don’t know what else to say. Charlie loves it. He won’t admit it, but I know he does. 😀

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? 

Have you seen Bob’s Burgers?!

bobsburgers 

 

Reebok Discount!!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be minimally compensated if you make a purchase after using my links. 

Hey guys!!

I know, popping in for a SECOND time in 1 day. Craziness, I tell ya!

BUT, for all my runner, Crossfitter, weight lifter friends out there….Reebok Outlet is giving an additional $15 off TODAY ONLY. (Yes, I make a small smidgen off of your sale, but really I just think this is a good deal that should be shared. I could share affiliate links all day, but I don’t because I’m not a spammerjammer.)

Annyyyways, I normally don’t share this type of thing, but I know I’d be into it, so maybe you will be too!

All you have to do is use the coupon code SHOES15 to grab the deal. 

Hurry up before I buy ALLTHESHOES. (May have already bought 2 pairs….:-D)

 

Weekend, Filming, Workouts, Pawn Shops!

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Mine was pretty low-key, but I think that was much-needed after Friday’s long day.

Friday was the 2nd filming day for the WBBC At-Home Fitness Program! We were in the sun for about 6.5 hours, did 4 workouts, and lots of other speaking footage. It was a ton of fun, but a ton of work, too! If you’re interested in the program, you can click this link to get on our waiting list. 😉

I’m a total doophus and forgot to wear sunscreen.

Ouch.

Ouch.

(Funny story about that “Kiss Me” balloon….it’s from Valentine’s day!! Charlie and I are trying to see how long it will stay inflated. Best.balloon investment.ever, if you ask me.)

The camera man and I have some very funny farmer’s tans going on!

His and Hers Sunburns

His and Hers Sunburns

I’m not trying to make light of these sunburns. It’s obviously extremely dangerous, but we were just so frazzled in the morning that we both forgot sunscreen. :-/ Live and learn.

Here are some shots from the filming:

Lizzy and Anna

Lizzy and Anna

 

Lunge

Lunge

 

Perfect Stretch

Perfect Stretch

Anyways, I’m really excited for this to come out!

After filming and working out in the sun all day, we were STARVING. We found an AWESOME little Hawaiian burger shack nearby called, Shaka Shack Burgers. AMAZING. The sweet potato fries were probably the best I’ve ever heard. SUPER GREASY and DELICIOUS haha. I ordered the Turkey Burger and it was pretty awesome too.

Saturday

Charlie and I always talk about going to pawn shops to see if we can luck out with some smokin’ deals. It’s much more difficult these days since you can find out what everything is worth on the internet. We finally decided that this was the day we would actually go look!

We drove to Hollywood and went to a few different pawn shops. There was definitely some interesting stuff in them, but ultimately, we walked away empty handed. We ALMOST got a really killer deal on a vintage microphone, but alas, it didn’t work. Womp, womp.

We finished around 4:30pm and decided to go to the Arclight to see Neighbors.

Neighbors_(2013)_PosterThis movie definitely had some hilarious moments, but overall, I’d give it a 7. Probably best to wait for it to come out on DVD, which nowadays should be about 2 weeks! Haha. (Remember when you used to have to wait MONTHS AND MONTHS for a movie to come out just for RENTAL….buying it was like a year. Crazy how times have changed.)

We finished off the night by making dinner, baking cookies (YUM) and watching Dexter.

Sunday

I woke up earlier than Charlie and started cleaning the house. Eventually he joined me and then we headed to the gym for a workout. We did the following supersets (weights/reps are mine…Charlie is stronger than me and did more weight plus higher box jumps):

Superset #1:

4 Sets of

-Medicine Ball Thrusters (16 lb ball x 15 reps)

-DB Push Ups w/ Rotation (10 lb DBs x 8 reps)

Superset #2:

4 Sets of

Heavy Deadlifts (139 lbs x 10 reps)

Burpee-Pull Ups (bw x 5 reps)

Superset #3:

2 Sets of

DB Shoulder Press (25lb DBs x 8 reps)

Box Jumps (24 inc. x 10 reps)

 

Charlie also helped me work on my form for box jumps. I was doing the 24 inch box, which I’ve done many times before, but my form wasn’t great. With the tips he gave me, I’m ready to tackle the tall 30 inch box. Just need to get some cajones, that’s all!

Some fun slo-mo videos of us!

That’s all I’ve got today! I’ll be back tomorrow morning with my workout plans for the week!

 

Have you ever been to a pawn shop?

Ever found a REALLY cool steal while at a pawn shop?

 

 

A MUST Read…Chasing That ONE

Happy Thursday! Hope it’s off on the right foot!

I’m working away, but already thinking about the weekend ahead. I’ve got some fun plans for Saturday! A group of friends from the gym are going to Mt. Baldy to do a hike. I’ve never been there, so I’m excited to do it! I haven’t been on an adventure in a while, it seems, so I’m more than ready for a break from L.A. I love this place, but it wears on you sometimes. A day or two somewhere quiet should do my body good. 😉

Chasing the ONE

I took a boxing class Tuesday night at ABA. It’s the boxing gym in the basement of the gym I work at. I have been going once a week for the last 6 weeks or so, and am loving it. I feel like I’m catching onto the combos and getting stronger/faster. I’ve always been able to hit really hard, but when you add in the moving parts and doing it QUICKLY, it can get tough and make your head spin. (fo’ real, they call out combos FAST down there).

Anyways, last night’s class was small…..and small classes mean more work time. The class is set up with 4 stations: mitt-work, bicycling, plyometrics, and heavy bags. Since we didn’t have many people last night, we skipped the heavy bags and just worked through the other 3 stations as many times as we could in an hour.

Hitting the mitts is definitely my favorite because you really feel like a bad-ass-mo-fo-boxer when you do it (or maybe it’s just me?). It’s about 3 minutes of hitting the mitts with a trained instructor that is calling out all types of combos for you to do. An example would be “2,3,2, double hook, catch left, double hook, up 4”. May not seem that hard, but what that means is a right punch, left hook, right punch, double left hook, catch left (they hit you), double left hook, 4 upper cuts, left hook, right punch. These are all being called out WHILE YOU’RE HITTING, so you really have to be on top of your mental game. You don’t exactly get time to think about it! 🙂

It’s such a BLAST, but last night I was hitting a wall physically. Towards the end of each round, I just felt like I had nothing left. I was giving it my all, and punching as hard as I could, but at the same time I was just becoming fatigued and my punches had less and less power as time went on. The instructor that I was hitting with would NOT let me quit. In fact, when I started to break down and hit softer, he made me do MORE and kept me going in order to make me push harder. I truly thought there was NOTHING left in the tank, but he wouldn’t let me quit. He kept yelling “come on Lizzy, HIT HARDER, Let’s go GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT, HIT HARDER!”. This actually happened in two separate rounds and whattayaknow……I was able to give it more. I hit harder, I grunted, and I just pushed through as much as possible. (I secretly also thought I was going to die, but that’s besides the point) 😉

I left class feeling amazing. Feeling like every ounce of energy I had was put into that class. It reminded me that while, yes, I push myself really hard on my own, it doesn’t compete with having someone to help push you even further. You might think you can’t (just like I did), but you CAN. The motivation to do MORE in class was just what I needed. Oddly enough, that motivation spilled into my work day on Wednesday and I had a kick-ass-get-it-done kind of day. 

My point in telling you this story is that I’m CONSTANTLY asked where I get the motivation for my workouts, but RARELY asked where I get the motivation to work as hard as I do at my jobs. While, yes, I’m self-motivated, do you think I just have some kind of motivation machine sitting in my stomach pumping out motivation??????? Hell no!!!!

So then why do I seem to be self-motivated? It’s because I am constantly SEEKING motivation. Whether that be by going to a class where I know the instructor is going to push me, or watching a video online that inspires me to go lift heavy shit and take names while I’m doing it, it’s all encompassing. I’m constantly searching for the kindle to my fire. I know that if I STOP doing that, I’m going to lose the flame. Even on the days that I don’t want to search for motivation and feel the complete opposite, I still know I need to try.

So how exactly does that relate to work-life? It’s the spill-over effect. A cycle, if you will.

  • By getting motivated for fitness, I accomplish and achieve success in the gym.
  • By achieving success and feeling accomplished, I get heightened endorphins and the feeling of knowing I proved I was better than I thought.
  • When I then go to work, those feelings are still there! I end up getting a ton of stuff done and come up with tons of new ideas. (This is one of many reasons that I like to take a break in the middle of the day for a quick workout. It’s idea fuel, get-er-done propane.) Ya feel me?

I’ve alway said working out changed my life, but until you fully experience it yourself, it’s really hard to convey just how life-changing it is. Breaking through mental and physical barriers in the weight room, on the track, in a rock climbing gym, at the yoga studio, or wherever it might be WILL transfer into your everyday life. It takes hard work, consistency, dedication, PATIENCE, and the drive to do better. Lift more than you did last week, run farther than you ever have before. Knowing that not every day is a life-changing, break-through workout, and that some days it’s going to SUCK and you’re going to FAIL. But it’s when you get that ONE…..that ONE workout that makes you just feel like you’re on top of the world and nothing can touch you. It’s that ONE that makes it fucking worth it.

For me, it’s lifting weights and doing high intensity work outs, but whether it’s lifting weights, working on inversions in yoga, or running a marathon, it’s what resonates with YOU. I challenge each of you to go out and find what it is that you like to do. You don’t have to like it every time you do it, you just have to like it enough that you’ll keep trying. And I promise that if you DO keep trying……you’ll get that one….and just like a drug, you’ll continue to keep chasing that one down until you experience it again…..and trust me….you will.

Have you experienced a workout that made you feel on top the world?

What is your favorite way to stay active?

 

29 Questions

I stole this fun survey from Carrots n’ Cake (LOVE her blog!) I love taking surveys, and this brings me back to high school and Myspace,so why not! Here we go!

1. What are you wearing?

Black shorts and a pink t-shirt.

2. Ever been in love?

Yes!

charlie_me_calico

3. Ever had a terrible breakup?

Yep. Next question!

4. How tall are you?

5’7.5”

5. How much do you weigh?

145 pounds

6. Any tattoos?

Nope.

7. Any piercings?

Yes. I have 11 ear piercings (I actually had to count just now) and my nose is pierced. I love piercings!!

8. Favorite song?

I have so many. I can’t choose just one, although Hocus Pocus by Focus is pretty damn cool.

9. Quality you look for in a partner?

Drive, sense of humor, adventurous

10. Favorite quote?

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and look like work.”

11. Favorite actor?

Rodney Dangerfield, Robin Williams, Leslie Neilson

12. Loud music or soft?

Usually loud.

13. Where do you go when you’re sad?

I drive

14. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

15-20 minutes? I rarely get really ready. When I do, it’s more like an hour.

15. Ever been in a physical fight?

Ha, no!

16. Turn on?

A “take-charge” kind of guy

17. Turn off?

Selfishness, laziness, lack of a brain.

18. Fears?

BUGS, and well that’s really the biggest of them all. I legitimately FREAK OUT. Let’s just say a little bug crawled in our toaster a few weeks ago and I made Charlie throw it away.

19. Last thing that made you cry?

Shit. I watched an episode of Drop Dead Diva and I cried. If you stop reading my blog now, I’ll understand.

20. Last time you said you loved someone?

This afternoon when I left the studio with Charlie.

21. Meaning behind your YouTube Name?

Not sure. I made it a long time ago. I guess I thought I was funny. intentcity16

22. The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

Co-worker

23. Favorite food?

GRAPES. Hands down. I love grapes.

24. Place you want to visit?

Oh man, this list is LONG. A few off the top of my head: ALASKA (all over), Washington, New York, Eastern Europe

25. Do you have a crush?

Yes. I get to wake up next to him every day!

26. Last time you kissed someone?

This afternoon when I left the studio.

27. Last time you were insulted?

A few days ago.

28. Favorite piece of jewelry?

My stupid little heart ring I bought for $8 at Nordstrom Rack about 10 years ago. I still wear it everyday and love it.

29. Who should answer these questions next?

You guys!

Pick one question above and leave your answer in the comments!

 

My Weekend and Workouts to Try!

 

Good morning friends! Here’s to a great and productive week!

I had a pretty great weekend. It was a mix of work/relaxation, but that was just what needed to happen. I have a lot on my plate and sometimes taking a Saturday to get some work done makes me much less stressed out. I have a hard time taking a break when there is SO much to do. Hoping this lightens my week a bit.

Even still, I was able to get a lot of work done and STILL just relax.

Listen to this! Friday night, as we were driving home from our friend’s house, we saw this:

fire

This was a CRAZY fire with tons of explosions. I was freaking out. They finally got it under control, but holy cow it was massive! That is definitely the biggest fire I’ve ever seen. I have a new respect for fire fighters for SURE. I was about a 1/2 mile away from this and it was scary even from afar. I can’t imagine having to go right into it! Thankfully, I don’t think anyone was hurt.

 

Last week’s workouts: 

Wednesday: Since Tuesday was spent filming, I took it a bit easy on Wednesday. I walked on the treadmill for about 20 minutes just to shake my muscles out. I was pretty sore and tired, but it felt good to move a little bit. Sneak peek below!

push up

Thursday: I was planning to take a boxing class, but things changed and I ended up just doing a full body workout. I felt REALLY GOOD in this workout. I ended up doing supersets of the following:

-Deadlifts & Chin Ups (4 supersets and 1 extra set of deadlifts)

-DB Shoulder Press & KB Swings (3 supersets)

-DB Step Ups & Jumping Step Ups (one leg at a time, meaning I did 15 DB step ups and went right into 15 Jumping step ups before moving on to my other leg. It is definitely a leg BURNER) (2 supersets)

Friday: Crossfit- We’re prepping to do Murph at the end of the month, so the workout we did was geared towards working up to that. We did:

20 min. AMRAP

400m Run

10 Pull Ups

20 Push Ups

30 Squats

I made it through 2 rounds and 5 additional pull ups. Killer!!!

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Chest & Legs w/ Charlie

We did:

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 reps

KB Goblet Squats

KB Swings

Barbell Bench Press

It was a great workout and took us exactly 32 minutes!

Fitness Plan for May 5 – May 11

Today: Bouldering + HIIT

Tuesday: Boxing

Wednesday: Full Body Heavy Lift

Thursday: Bouldering

Friday: Filming Workouts again…

Saturday: REST

Sunday: Hike

As always, that’s the plan, but we will see how the week goes!

When it comes to fitness, what do you consider yourself?

Beginner? Moderate Fitness? Fitness Freak? Athlete?

I train with the mindset of an athlete, but in reality, I’m probably at a moderate to advanced fitness level. I know this, but keeping the athlete mindset definitely helps me push myself.