Archive for Work Hard

5 Tips for Productivity + Workouts for the Week

How was everyone’s Monday? Did you participate in any of my 5 Ways to Have a Great Monday?

I sure did! I got in 20 minutes on the stair-mill in the morning and a Chest/Ab workout in the evening. I also took a walk to the coffee shop midday (it was for a meeting, but it still counts!), drank coffee (x2), and got a great night of sleep Sunday night. I did NOT want to get out of bed Monday morning because I was enjoying it so much, but it definitely made a difference in my day.

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I read an article this weekend that said the way to be most productive is to work for 56 minutes and take a 17 minute break. I thought that was pretty interesting. I’m definitely going to play around with it this week and see if it helps with the amount of work I get done.

In my jobs, I am constantly being bombarded with new tasks. Running a gym AND working full time free-lance means I have to be super efficient. If I’m not, I don’t get to sleep OR don’t get everything done and it runs into the next day. I like my sleep and I don’t like letting things get pushed to the next day, so I like to think I’ve mastered productivity. Part of that comes from my natural ability to work quickly, but it also comes from being in high pressure jobs for most of my life. I’ve worked for celebrities, highly demanding CEO’s, and more. Here are my tried and true ways to get 1.5 million things done efficiently.

Fit Lizzio’s Guide To “Getting Shit Done”

1. Create a calendar. This is #1. In order to plan your projects out, you need to create deadlines for yourself. Having 1 deadline for an entire project to be finished is just simply not enough. If your deadline is in 1 week, you should have mini deadlines each day for what you need to get done in order to finish on time. Map out your project on a calendar so that you can see both your mini-deadlines, as well as your final deadline.

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2. Create a task-list. This is just as important as creating a calendar. Each day, I write out my tasks that I need to get done by the end of the day. As I work through them, I check them off my list (which is oh-so-satisfying, might I add), and work my way through. If it can be pushed to the next day or to a lighter day, it gets pushed. The most important tasks are put in the forefront and I plan my week accordingly. NOTE: I also put my workouts in my task-list. Like I said, I don’t like to push things to the next day, so I figure out a way to get ’em done!

3. Hardest tasks first. Most people like to get the easy, small tasks out of the way first, but that is actually counter-productive. Your brain is sharpest early on in the day, so it is actually better to start with the tasks that require more brain power and energy. This way, by the time you’re tired and your brain sort of starts feeling like mush, you’re left with the simpler tasks to get through.

4. Focus on the task at hand. This is something I still work on myself. It’s easy to be working on a project, hear your phone ring, or have the e-mail *ding* go off and immediately meander to the latest and greatest that just came in. This is a bad habit, as you begin to distract yourself from the task at hand and can lose your train of thought much more easily. If it’s urgent and you have to step away, then do it, but make sure you come back to the initial task you were working on. If you can wing it, don’t check your phone or e-mail until you’re finished with what you’re working on. This also helps to prevent silly errors and mistakes that often happen when your attention is detracted.

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5. Take breaks and breathe. I am a work binger. There are times that I sit down at the computer and 5 hours later look up to see a haze from staring at the screen for so long, not really realizing what has happened in the world in those last 5 hours. At some point, you need to get up and walk around. You need to shake your legs out, clear your head, have a snack, breathe, and then get back to work. You may not realize it while it’s happening, but being so intent with work for such a long time can actually put you into a sort of “work abyss”. You start to lose track of what actually makes sense and your work may be compromised. I’ve done it SO many times. I go through a “work binge” thinking what I have written or worked on is GOLD, only to look over it the next day wondering who the hell did it. Frequent breaks will help your soul (and work!), I promise. 🙂

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Along with making big things happen this week, here’s my workout plan for the week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: 20 Min. Stairmill + Chest/Abs Workout

Tuesday: Boxing

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: Shoulders/Tris + Boxing

Friday: Back/Biceps

Saturday: Full Body/Crossfit style

Sunday: Hike

Questions of the Day:

1. Do you have any tips to add to being more

productive?

2. Have you ever tried work/rest intervals when it

comes to your work?

Muscles, Flexing, and a Kettle Bell Workout!

Good morning! Happy Thursday!

This week has FLOWN by. Anyone else feel that way? I swear, it was just Monday!

Workouts this week have left me pretty sore. I’m taking a much-needed rest day today! Here’s what my week has looked like:

Sunday: Legs!!! (and oh, did this workout make me sore)

Monday: 20 min. HIIT & Shoulders/Triceps

Tuesday: Back & Biceps + 20 minutes on the treadmill (to literally try to shake the soreness out of my legs)

Wednesday: Full Body w/ a focus on Chest (below)

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On another note, I read this article yesterday and immediately shared it. This is so, so, so spot on. I urge you all to read this and take notes. My favorite quote in the article:

“Like Herbalife, Isagenix may be an effective weight loss tool. So is anorexia. Doesn’t mean I think it’s a good idea.”

Finally, I’ll leave you with this. Lifting weights doesn’t mean you’re going to walk around looking like the hulk. You’re only going to look like the hulk when you have seriously developed muscle (read: years of development) AND flex those seriously developed muscles. And even then, you still may not! I’ve been training for 7 years STRAIGHT and this is how “bulky” heavy lifting has made me:

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(On a side note, back in 2008, before I had any “real” muscle, I would put photos of women with really awesome shoulders on my bathroom mirror. I looked at my own photo last night and realized…..I have those awesome shoulders that I always envied!! Cool!!)

 

P.S. Don’t judge my dirty mirrors. #okthanks.

Have a great rest of your day folks!

Question of the day:

1. Be honest, are you afraid to lift heavy weights?

 

 

Workout Recap and Weekend Getaway HELP!!

This week has been full of some awesome workouts, so let’s get right to it!

Workout Recap

Monday: I did a 15 minute HIIT on the treadmill. It’s amazing how much 15 minutes can make you sweat and curse. I think they go hand in hand. I also did some bouldering at the rock climbing gym.

I alternated between 6.5 and 9.0 mph on the treadmill and shared my MFT upon completion.

Tuesday: I walked on the treadmill while waiting for Charlie, and then I put us both through some hell

Here’s what we did: 

3 sets of: Squat/Sled/KB Swing combo (this video is old, but this is what it is:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTuCIGFL1qE

3 sets of: 5 Burpee Pull Ups (with full push up and on a very high bar that required a lot of pulling up!!!) super set with 10 Medicine Ball Thrusters (18 lbs)

3 sets of: 10 Push Press (45 lbs) superset with 5 Ninja Jumps

This workout looked easier on paper than it was. I tend to do that a lot…..

Wednesday: Bouldering. Instead of what I normally do, which is climb hard and take good long breaks, I set out to be there for an hour with minimal breaks. None of my friends could go, so I decided it would be the best use of my time. Damn it was hard! Climbing gives you a pump like nothing else.

Thursday: Boxing. I’m so glad I got back into this. I almost didn’t go because I’ve got a big work project going on, but knew I would feel much better if I did. I was right and left a sweaty, soaking, hot mess. It was glorious.

My plan for today? Crossfit 14.5! I missed 14.4 because I was out of town, so I figure i’ll try this one out. I may have to scale down the thrusters, but we’ll see what happens.

This weekend: 

Even though I was out of town last weekend, I feel like going out of town again! I love to travel and do little weekend trips, but haven’t been taking them lately. I made it a goal to change that. I’m leaving tonight and still don’t know where I’m going.

Should I go to: 

1. Santa Barbara

2. Solvang

3. Dana Point

Help me decide! Leave me your choice in the comments, por  favor. 🙂

Weekend Workouts and Fun

This weekend was such a perfect blend of relaxation, fun, and workouts. Let’s get right to it!!

Saturday

We woke up Saturday and grabbed a coffee before heading to the studio for a session. My good friend runs an AMAZING  co-ed camp where she takes young girls and boys to do tons of fun activities. She teaches them about empowerment, self-confidence, gratitude, and so much more. You can read all about it here. For this particular weekend, Tedi got her girls together to record their version of “Roar” by Katy Perry. The girls had a BLAST and I did too! Tedi and I may have even made a cameo in the bridge of the song……

Sand Sister's Girls Having a Blast in the Studio

Sand Sister’s Girls Having a Blast in the Studio

After the recording session, we headed over to Temescal Canyon for a hike. It’s such a BEAUTIFUL hike and a good workout too! I didn’t snap any photos, but this should give you an idea of the view…:-D

Temescal Ridge Trail

Source

The hike definitely worked up an appetite, so we headed to Burger Lounge for some grub. I rave about this place ALL the time. It’s not only DELICIOUS, but the food is so fresh and comes from sustainable farms. You can taste the difference in the quality of food and you don’t leave feeling like you ate a greasy burger. I usually get the Little Lounge Turkey Burger (and fries of course!), but the grass-fed beef is also a great choice! If you make it out to LA, you MUST try this place!!!

Sunday

Sunday morning, I got up to do a good old heavy lifting workout + some metabolic conditioning. I hit not one, but TWO Personal Records (PR’s)!!!!! Stoked is an understatement.

The first PR I hit, was 6 reps of 216lb hip thrusts. My record before that was 211, so just a small increase, but an increase nonetheless!!! I had someone shoot a little video of the madness….

The next PR I hit was on pull-ups. I posted on Facebook last week that I was going to try to get 5 strict pull ups this week……and I did!!!! I was STOKED and immediately started running around the gym like a freak. (Guess I can’t deny who I am! ;-)) I was surprised at how easy reps 1-4 were. 5 was definitely a challenge, but I’m hoping 6 isn’t too far off…..:-)

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning a bit and meeting a friend for an afternoon Americano. Because who doesn’t need a huge spike of caffeine at 4:30pm?! LOL

Hope everyone is having a GREAT Monday. I’ll be sharing the rest of my Sunday workout Tuesday morning. It was only 10 minutes long and a BURNER. You’ll love it. Stay tuned…;-)

Question of the Day:

Have you hit any new PR’s lately? 

Are you working towards any new PR’s?! (If not, set some goals!!!)

Tabata and Running…and then I got all preachy.

Buenos Tardes amigos!

Today has been somewhat crazy, and the next few will be even more-so! This wedding is really starting to stress me out, and it’s not even mine!

I went to my (almost) final fitting for my dress and finally got shoes for the wedding. I just need to finish up my speech, and the rest should fall into place! I have to go back one more time on Friday because she is making a few slight alterations, but it’s basically ready.

Today’s workout was pretty killer. I was sweating up a storm! I started out on a jog around the neighborhood I’m house sitting in. It is a really nice, overcast day here, so the conditions were great. I set out for 5 miles and was just going to call it a day after that. About 2 miles into the run, I decided that although I was enjoying myself and the time was flying, I wanted to push myself harder. My pace was pretty fast, but I was starting to mentally check out and get my brain set on doing something more intense. I finished up 3 miles and came inside to do a Tabata style workout.

Tabata is a style of training that involves 8 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. You need an interval timer to do it, but luckily I found this handy tool online. Makes it easy when I just have to listen for a bell!

My tabata exercises included:

-Mountain climbers

-Squats

-Pushups(holy hell.)

-Bicycle Twists

I actually wanted to do more, but I’ve been having some lower back issues the past few days and started to feel it a little bit. I’d rather be smart and do less, than do more and be out for a long period of time!

It’s funny, I think that females, or maybe everyone, tends to work the body parts they don’t like much more than any others. I have ALWAYS worked my legs like crazy, not to mention, I love leg workouts. Combined with all of the cardio activities that I do, my legs have some crazy endurance. The squat rounds really didn’t phase me. Next time I will definitely add weights. The mountain climbers were tough but not terrible, the bicycle twists weren’t so bad, but the push ups? Murderous. I work my upper body A LOT, but it has always been my weak point. If you saw the way my body is made up, it would make total sense. I actually have a decent amount of upper body muscle, but it is all self made. Prior to my working out days, they were stick arms. My lower body is very athletically proportioned. Although I’m carrying around a few extra pounds these days, I have very muscular glutes and hamstrings. My quads are also pretty muscular, but it isn’t as noticeable as the backside.

Random thoughts: I skyped with the man(funny to call him that because he’s about as mature as an 8 year old. But who am I to talk, so am I.) who got me started in the fitness world. He’s currently in New Zealand working on his PhD and we haven’t talked in a few months. We talked about when I first started working out at his gym, and how I’ve changed over the years both physically and mentally, specifically towards my views on strength and conditioning. It’s just still crazy to me that I walked into Lifts almost 4 years ago just thinking I’d start working out a little bit. Little did I know that my entire LIFE would be completely changed. Even though my weight has fluctuated through the years (if I was a yo-yo I’d definitely be a Bumblebee) my perspective on life has constantly been getting better and better. My parents were never big exercisers, other than my mom having a short stint with the gym. It still amazes me that I played sports my entire life, when the other 5 members of my family sat on their ass (my older brother actually was a swimmer/mountain biker but everyone else was a sit-on-their-asser). My grandparents were very active and involved with sports though, so maybe that’s where I got it. My dad started working out about a year and a half ago. Over the last 6 months he has told me that the best gift and greatest lesson I have ever taught him is how much exercise can change your life. He doesn’t realize that him telling me that is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given by him. It feels good to help someone. Exercise doesn’t just change your body and health, it transforms your mind. There is NOTHING, N.O.T.H.I.N.G in this world that can do for your mind what exercise can do. Yes, one workout gives you endorphins, but long-term continuous exercise makes you believe in yourself, instills confidence in you, and really gives you a drive that you may have never had before. I would assume that the happiest people on the planet are those that exercise regularly, whether that means they live in a walkable city and walk everywhere, or whether they spend hours in the gym, exercise has the ability to change you and bring out the best in you.

Okay, I’ll stop with my preaching, but I just can’t begin to describe how wonderful exercise has been to me. It’s a gift and a privilege to be able to work out as lightly or as fiercely as I want to each day. I am continuously thankful for that, regardless of being 15% body fat or 25%.

It’s Been a Minute….

This will make you laugh. I was bored the other night and made this…haha

HA! Anyways… Wow, that’s the longest I’ve gone without posting since I started this blog.

I needed a break, and I can’t say that I’m 100% back yet, but maybe…

Training:

Going amazingly right now. I am LOVING my workouts and seeing better results than EVER!! I’m lifting heavy and really can tell a huge difference in my physique.

Dieting:

I feel better than ever. I am eating a liberal contest diet. Meaning, I’m actually eating carbs every single day (in my first 2-3 meals) and I haven’t felt this good in a long time. My weight has been holding steady the past few weeks, as my body got used to having carbs again since I wasn’t really having much in preparing for the USA’s.(more on that below.) My clothes are getting looser though, and my mind is in such a great place.

Competition:

If you didn’t know already, I’m NOT competing in the USA’s this weekend. I made the decision that I am going to do this the right way. The right way is different for everyone, but MY right way is slowly leaning out. None of this no-carb crapola for me. My body does better with high protein, moderate carbs and moderate fat. My activity level is high enough to support that and it is the way i started this whole thing. I got too wrapped up in “having” to do the show, that I started to do what I’ve always said not to do: eat too little. My body wasn’t responding as well and I knew I needed to get into a long-term mindset.

Future Plans

As of right now I’m not sure. I’d like to compete in a national bikini show this year, but part of me is really turned off by the sport and the judging/posing. I am really considering doing figure. At this point, I’m not finalizing anything because I really just am having a good time working out hard, leaning out and not having a timeline…….

 

It’s becoming a lifestyle. The workouts have always been, but the eating too. It doesn’t feel like a chore anymore these days and it’s what I want to do.

Basically, I’m loving life right now, getting back into music again, training for the fun of it, getting amazing results, and enjoying every moment. I do plan on competing before the year ends, but I’m seeing where this road takes me.

We’re jammin’!

Goooood morning!

A very early morning, obviously. It’s 3:15am and I have to leave for work in about a half hour, but I woke up extra early for some reason today. I figured I should blog now because I’ve got the time.

Life Update

I seem to love to keep myself extremely busy. Okay, I seem to love to do everything to the extreme. I don’t have a happy medium apparently! Haha. Today is going to be a nice 15.5 hour day…Work, workouts, class, meetings and a demo this evening.

I’ve found a new way to incorporate my two favorite things in the world……….

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This is me at the gym jamming out while I work. Yes, I am a nerd. No, I don’t have kids.

You may or may not know that I am a music fanatic to say the least. I went to recording school and have played piano and guitar for the better part of my life. Although you would THINK this would mean I’m good at those instruments, well, I play for 6 months, then take a year off and have done this for about 8 years. I can still rock out though! Anyways, bringing my guitar to work has been the highlight of my shift! Playing music at the gym=two passions combined. Success! Another reason why I’m not a fan of the corporate gyms….couldn’t do this there!

Prep Update

This prep has been relatively easy mentally. I’m making progress, it’s just a matter of if there is enough time. I am now just under 6 weeks until my competition and although I’m leaning out, I’m just not sure I’ll be ready in time. Sure, I could be ready enough to get on stage, but for a national show, I need to be looking 110%!!! My coach and I talked and we are going to decide July 7th whether I do USA’s or wait another month and head to Texas for Jr. USA’s. Kind of frustrating as seeing that I have invested a lot into this particular show, but it’s not out of sight yet and I’m pushing it HARD!! We’ll see what happens in these next 2.5 weeks!

 

Okay, time for work+workouts+jammin’!

Tips for Getting it all Done! + TV Appearance

Hey guys! I’ve been so neglectful with the blog. I apologize, I’ve just been busy! Summer school is great because you get everything done so quickly, but it is SO much work!!

I’ve talked about the various things I have been doing with my life these past few months, and when I begin to write about it sometimes I’m amazed that it all gets done. Here are some tips to getting it ALL done:

Tips to Getting it All Done

Sleep: Go to bed as early as you can. Hands down, the best advice I have. The earlier you wake up, the earlier you can get your day started, and the beauty is that most of the world is sleeping, so they won’t bug you and things won’t just come up as often.

Cardio: Wake up and go do it. Even if you don’t want to, just do it. Just get your butt to the gym, or outside and just START. Don’t think, just start!!

Weight Training: Some people prefer to do this in the evening, but by the evening the last thing I want to do is work out. My routine involves doing cardio, eating my breakfast at the gym, waiting for the food to digest and then hitting up the weight room. If i have more cardio to do, I do it right after my weight training and then my workouts are DONE for the day. I’m usually done by about 8am

Studying: If you’re in school or studying for something, it can be hard to find the time to do this on its own. I’ve found that incline walking and  reading chapters for my classes is pretty much a win-win situation. With incline walking, you don’t bounce as much and you don’t have to worry about slowing your intensity because you have it pre-set, so you can’t slack. The cardio time also goes by really fast when you’re reading, so cardio flys by. Studying+Cardio all in one=AWESOME.

E-mails, Homework and Work-related items: A lot of my work (outside of my gym and supplement store jobs) involves writing client workouts and meal plans; and doing freelance articles. I’ve found that the best way to plan for this is to write it in my calendar and get things done early. If I have an hour in the afternoon free, I write in my calendar what I can get done in that hour. I do this every Sunday for the week, and obviously it changes, but it’s a guideline to ensure I don’t forget about things. Plus, who doesn’t love checking things off of a list?! 😉

Those are just some tips that I use to get everything done. I try to multi-task when I can, and to plan things out for the week so that I get it all done without cramming it all into one day.

TV Appearance

If I get a copy of the airing, I’ll post it, but if you are in the AZ area, tune into Channel 3 tomorrow (Monday) morning at 10AM Arizona Time to see me demo-ing some exercises for my former roomie Emily! It was really fun to do, and I can’t wait(or maybe I can, because I might look like a goof haha!) to see it on TV.

****Less than 6 weeks to go until competition time!! Still have some work to do, but I’m confident I can pull it off!

Congrats to Rebecca, Genie, and Kendra on their competitions this weekend. They all 3 did incredible and have set the bar very high!!! Way to go girls!!!

I’m in!!

…to my new place!

I somehow got my stuff together today, found someone to take my table, got my bed, couch and tv moved and am now in my new house!! I’m living with another fellow fitness gal, so it works out well. Different part of town that I’m not used to, but I’m excited!!

 

This morning’s leg workout was awesome! I got some groggy morning cardio in (at a lovely 4AM) and then ate breakfast and hit the gym floor. Changed it up quite a bit today.

The Workout

-Leg Press superset with  Up and Overs

-Hack Squat superset with jumping split squats

-Front squats superset with walking lunges(no weight, high reps)

-Leg extensions superset with front kicks, side kicks and scissor kicks on the heavy bag.

The addition of the boxing kicks into my leg workout was AWESOME. It was a change of pace and lots of fun.

58 days to show time!!!!

Some days I think I’ll be ready, some days I’m not sure…..but either way I’m doing what I need to do to get there. Power of positive thinking + hard work = success. That’s my view at least.

What is the HARDEST thing you’ve ever had to do in order to achieve your goal??

Catch ya later!! 🙂

Effective Leg Workouts

This post has two purposes: To give you my opinion on form and range of motion, and to explain to you how mother-flippin-ridunkulously sore my legs are today. The fact that week after week I can still get my legs this sore just proves I really know how to push myself on leg day.

My Workout

 I typically don’t go super heavy on leg day. That’s one thing I got over. I am happy with the size of my leg muscles, and right now I am just trying to lean out and tighten up. I used to be obsessed with strength and how heavy I could lift, but realized that unless Im trying to become a power lifter or build more muscle, it really doesn’t matter, as long as my muscles are being challenged and that I change it up often, it works for me. That sentence was definitely too long, but it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want!!

Box Squats superset with Leg Extensions (2 warm ups, 4 sets)

Hack Squats superset with High Box Jumps (4 sets)

Bulgarian Squats superset with Sled Pushes (3 sets)

Squat Press superset with Jumping Split Squats (3 sets)

My legs were shaking by the time I got to the Hack Squats and continued to do so until I finished the workout.

 

Form and Range of Motion

The key to this workout being so effective has a lot to do with range of motion. I can’t tell you how many times a day I bite my tongue at the ridiculous form that people have with their exercises. Lower the weight, and DO THE EXERCISE.

What I see:

 -Walking Lunges with 20-25 lb dumbbells- people barely getting their knee down. Your knee should be almost touching the ground with EACH REP. No bouncing, no knee-past-your-toe, and make sure you GET DOWN THERE. If this means you have to drop the dumbbells, then so be it. You will be a better athlete and have better developed muscles to show for it.

-Half Squats- these are my favorite. Girls load the barbell with a bunch of plates. They squat and come up, except they didn’t even get close to parallel. Their knees are past their toes and some people even turn their head. NEVER TURN YOUR HEAD WHEN PERFORMING A SQUAT.(Unless you are trying to injure your spine and neck, in that case feel free.) Another tip, stick your butt out! Your back should be straight, chest out, and contrary to what some people think, you can even squat down past your knees. Some say this will cause injury, but there is another equal sized group that calls bluff. Either way, all I’m asking for is at LEAST parallel. NO MORE HALF SQUATS.

-Smith squats are great. They have their place, but a real squat with a free barbell is much more effective. It’s the same principal as using dumbbells over machines. The balance factor means you have to contract more muscle fibers. Don’t get me wrong, smith squats are a great exercise, but they shouldn’t be in place of a regular full squat.

There are so many different types of squats and they all have their place. Full Squats, Front Squats, Hack Squats, Hex bar squats, dumbbell squats, box squats and the list goes on. My advice is to get the regular squat down before you start venturing out. Box squats are great because they teach you to a: squat all the way down and b: to stick your butt out. Make sure your box is low enough that you can acheive at least parallel, if not further down.

Okay, so that turned into more of a rant with a little advice mixed in, but I truly stand by correct form and full range of motion. When you see people with those beautiful long lean muscles, you can bet they are doing their exercises with full range of motion(unless they are just genetically gifted.)

Do me a favor, drop the weights and work on your form. I’m not by any means saying I’m perfect, because I’m not. I work my best to get full range of motion and correct form, but it doesn’t mean I am 100% perfect at it. I use the mirrors to judge and also ask others to make sure my form is good and that i’m getting full range of motion. You will be amazed at how different your workouts will feel if you incorporate those two principles.

 

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