Tag Archive for fitness motivation

What 10 Years in the Fitness Industry Has Taught Me

This August is a big month for me, personally. It marks 1 year since I made a decision that turned my life around (for the better) in ways that I could have never expected, but it also marks 10 years since the day I walked into my first training session, another life-changing event (although I didn’t know it at the time). I realize that I’m writing this a few months early, but coming off of another great Fitness Summit in Kansas City with the best, smartest, and most realistic people in the fitness industry has me feeling the urge to do it now. I’m inspired, I’m reflecting, and I have a lot to say. And since I stopped living by “the rules”(<—whole other post right here) last August, I’ll say it now, because I want to.

A little background

I grew up as a total tom-boy. I remember my grandpa and I kicking a soccer ball around in my basement when I was just 4 years old. In our neighborhood, almost every house had kids and we would all meet outside, pick something to play, and play until it was dark out. This was every day after school that I can remember. It ranged from baseball to kickball, street hockey, basketball, butts up (who remembers that?!), etc. We made rollerblade ramps, created obstacle courses, and I don’t remember ever NOT being active. In organized sports, I played flag football (I was the quarterback) and baseball (1st base) with the boys. I stopped football in 7th grade when all the guys started playing tackle football, but kept playing baseball year-round on club teams until high school. I tried playing softball for 1 year on my high school’s team when I was a sophomore and was moved up to varsity, but it just wasn’t the same as baseball. I didn’t like it and decided to go a totally different direction the next year. My junior year of high school I was on the track team. I did high jump and long jump because I hated running (LOL). I made it to State for high jump and totally flopped there, but it was a really fun season. To this day, I still love jumping!

My freshman year of college was the first year that I wasn’t active. My roommate and I would try to go to the rec center to “work out”, but from what I remember, we would do a few sets of leg extensions and about 20 minutes on the elliptical. Then we would smash a bunch of sushi and Coldstone ice cream or order Domino’s pizza WITH brownie bites and devour the whole thing. We had “earned it” haha. I also vividly remember going on a diet of sour gummy worms and goldfish and losing a bunch of weight because I was barely eating. Who needs protein?

By the beginning of my sophomore year (August 2007), I just felt lazy and not like myself. I had been so used to being active my entire life that it just felt weird to be so sedentary. I decided to seek out a gym and found Lifts, owned by Bret Contreras. It was a small studio and only about 5 minutes from where I worked at the time. From what I remember, I wanted a personal trainer, but was also a broke college student. This gym was a personal training studio and only a few hundred dollars a month, so I think that’s what drew me to it initially. In hindsight, I’m SO lucky that I ended up here. In fact, my entire life would be different if I hadn’t.

Bret taught me how to lift weights right off the bat. With my athletic background, I caught on pretty quickly and became obsessed with it. I would spend hours at Lifts. I’d get there right after work, I’d workout, and I’d hang out there afterwards. I was also known for taking naps on the Reverse Hyper after I finished my workouts while Bret and the other trainers did their own workouts. It became my home away from home and to this day, the gym IS my home. (To this day, I can’t thank Bret enough for showing me the world of lifting weights).

There have been a lot of ups and downs in the last 10 years. It’s hard to remember every zig and zag, but I have learned so much and it’s shaped me into the person that I am today. Social media wasn’t as rampant then as it is today. We had Facebook, but it wasn’t wildly popular yet. I think we were still on Myspace back then too, if I remember correctly. There was no Instagram, no Twitter. Bodybuilding.com, T-Nation, and other fitness sites were where I got a lot of my information about what the fitness pros were up to and what the latest research said. Between my obsessive search for information and surrounding myself with the people that seemed to know what they were doing, I was able to gain a lot of good knowledge (and plenty of bad, too). It was a really different time (I realize I sound like an old woman, but it really was drastically different than it is today).

Today, I am a private personal trainer in the Santa Monica and Burbank area. I train clients in a private gym, at their homes, and at a movie production company. I also work on the business side of fitness with a company that helps gym owners run PROFITABLE gyms. It’s hard to do, but our company knows all the magic tricks ;-)!! All jokes aside, I love helping gym owners learn how to turn their passion into something they can do full time. I like being on all three sides of the industry: an athlete, a trainer, and a business consultant.

Through all of that, I have seen a lot. I still have much to learn and my favorite thing about fitness is that there is ALWAYS more to learn.

Here are the Top 10 things I’ve Learned in the Last 10 Years about Fitness

I Know Nothing

1. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I know nothing. Let me clarify. When I got into lifting weights initially, I literally did know nothing. But about 2 years in, I thought I knew it all. I spent ALL of my time either IN the gym OR perusing fitness articles. I spent every afternoon and night researching nutrition, fitness, different workout protocols, looking up what the bodybuilders were doing, seeing what other trainers did. I read everything I could get my hands on and didn’t have the knowledge to decipher the bullshit. I believed a lot of things that in hindsight, I realize was bro-science. I thought I was learning, and I guess I WAS learning, but not necessarily the right things. I did learn a lot of GREAT things as well, but I also thought I had it all figured out. Bret will never let me live down the day I came into Lifts after I had started working out at another gym and telling him that he was a good trainer to get me started, but my new trainer knew things that were more technical. (*bows head in shame* haha). In reality, I had gotten really into bodybuilding and was preparing for a Bikini show (2009, the first year it became a division) and a trainer at my new gym was teaching me all the “bodybuilding tricks”. I thought they were the end-all-be-all and would make ALL the difference I the world. Now I know better. I know that I know a LOT, but I also know that I have so much to learn. Enough that I’ll never stop. I’ll always be researching, listening, reading, attending seminars, etc. The difference now is that I DO have a good understanding of how this all works. I have not only learned from the RIGHT people, but I’ve experimented extensively on myself and my clients. I’ve surrounded myself and sought advice from the REAL professionals in this industry and I now know how to decipher bullshit. I know a lot, but I also know nothing. I like it that way. It keeps me hungry for more.

 

Follow the rules, then you can break them.

2. There are many “rules” when it comes to lifting weights and making progress towards your goals. They are there because they are based on what science tells us and this is what has been shown to optimize progress and keep you safe. Everyone should learn them. Everyone should practice them. THEN you can decide which ones you continue with and which ones you don’t. For example, these days I “do it all wrong”. I’ll lift weights fasted, I won’t drink a protein shake after a workout, I don’t wear squat shoes, I don’t wear a belt, etc. Is this ideal? NO. And I am in NO WAY saying that “you should do this”. I would never recommend this to someone. What I AM saying is that this is what works for me. When you’ve been training long enough and have followed the “rules”, you can start to break them. You learn what things work for you and what things don’t. For me, I like to train in the mornings and I don’t like eating that early, so I don’t. I find it annoying to bring protein shakes with me to the gym and by the time I get home, I’d rather just eat something instead. Sometimes, I don’t go home after the gym and I just grab a coffee and eat a few hours later. I don’t wear squat shoes because I don’t feel like carrying an extra pair of shoes with me to the gym. I don’t wear a lifting belt because I only want to be as strong as I am without one. I don’t want to rely on gear. Many will argue that, and that’s totally fine with me. I’ve stayed healthy and relatively injury-free for the last 10 years (minor injuries or nuances happen and are expected). I’ve been able to gain strength, stamina, and improve my form. This is what works for ME, even though it might not be perfect. The point is: learn the rules of lifting, practice them, find what you like and what allows you to continue making progress and staying healthy, do that. But don’t skip any of those steps.

Do the things you like, mixed in with the things you don’t like (but should do).

3. I had a conversation at The Fitness Summit about this exact topic. Some coaches and trainers are very one-track minded. They might believe powerlifting is the way, so all of their clients’ programming is based around powerlifting. They may believe bodybuilding is the best way to train, and so all of the programming is bodybuilding style. This is fine if the client likes that way of training, but I’ve found that most people like some type of combination. And that’s actually BETTER than only training one way. For me, I like to lift heavy with low reps, but I also like to do higher reps and “feel the burn”. In addition, the athlete in me still likes to run and jump, and so plyometrics and conditioning drills are something I really enjoy. I realize that I piss off my own coach for being this way, but I also know that training MUST be enjoyable in order for it to be something you stick with. I have gone through stages where my training leaned more towards one way than the other. I spent many years “chasing a sweat” and not making any real strength progress because of it. I haven’t always trained the right way and I’ve probably done more things wrong than right, but it’s also allowed me to figure out what I love, what I like, what I dislike, and what I downright hate or don’t feel. On my main training days, I prefer to start with 1-3 of my main lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press, chin ups, hip thrusts) and then I’ll mix in some bodybuilding movements (more isolation-type movements), and glute-focused movements. I like to do 1-2 days per week where my focus is on conditioning and plyometrics. This might include things like: box jumps, squat jumps, step ups jumps, medicine ball slams or throws, sprints, sled pushes or pulls, etc. I also really enjoy going on long walks. If I take out any of these things, I don’t feel fulfilled. I also have to manage my physical activity so that I don’t overdo it, but incorporating these things into my training is what makes ME happy. I encourage you to find the pieces of training that you like and make sure to incorporate them. If you’re training for a specific event, you’ll obviously want to prioritize based on that. It may mean you don’t do EVERYTHING leading up to that event, but overall you should be able to do all the things you enjoy doing to make your program the best one for YOU.

Never stop learning.

4. Find the people in the industry that you feel aligned with (3-5 people you trust MOST) and listen to their advice. (make sure they base their teachings on the actual research and science, not made-up bullshit meant to instill fear in people). Attend seminars, watch webinars, watch their videos, follow them on social media, read their articles, and if you have the chance, talk to them in person or online. Keep up on the latest research as best as you can.

Experiment!!!!!

5. I can’t say this enough. People always think I’m “so creative” in the gym and not because I come up with ridiculous exercises that have the potential for more harm than good. What it refers to is my ability to figure out a way to make a movement work, even if I don’t have the ideal equipment. This comes from years of experimenting in the gym. I try everything I can. I try new exercises I see, I take an exercise and try performing it in different ways (different foot placement, hand placement, grip, angles, etc) to see what I feel best and what happens when I change any of those variables. I try different rep ranges, drop sets, adding bands to weighted exercises, and more. I’ve literally spent almost 10 years using myself as a guinea pig and I will never stop. I do this with my clients as well. Just because I feel something one way, doesn’t mean they will. Any of my clients will tell you, I ask a lot of questions. “Where did you feel that most? How does that feel? Which variation did you like better?”. We are all build a little bit differently and have varying mobility, so exercises can feel drastically different for different people and you may find that something you don’t like or don’t feel, feels fantastic for someone else. Try things, test things out, and I guarantee you’ll be a better lifter for it.

Everyone’s an Expert

6. People will always try to tell you a better way. Especially as a female lifter, you will come across people who try to tell you you’re doing it wrong or that there’s a better way. This is where sticking to the people you trust and also trusting yourself comes into play. At this point, I know what works for me pretty well and can easily ignore this unsolicited advice. But when I wasn’t as sure, it made me question what I was doing and at times, even CHANGE what I was doing (and usually not for the better). Is my foot placement wrong? Should I be looking up or down? THIS is when you use your trusted resources to figure it out. I have 3-4 go-to people in my life that I trust very much. I have gone to them throughout the years to ask questions like this when I’m unsure if someone’s advice should be taken or thrown out the window. In addition, if something feels right to you and isn’t hurting you, it may very well just be the way that works for YOU. Never be afraid to ask the people in your trusted circle, just make sure they know what they’re talking about. Some red flags when you receive unsolicited advice: “my friend does this lift with 23408324 lbs and this is how HE does it” <–we are all built differently. you are not this person’s friend and you don’t have their body. this is a ridiculous supporting argument, “I’ve been a coach for 100 years and all of my athletes do it THIS way” <–we are all built differently. if all of their athletes are doing something the SAME WAY, it’s probably because the coach only knows how to teach it one way. Over time, you’ll feel more comfortable knowing what you should/shouldn’t listen to but I highly suggest ignoring most of it and asking the right people when you’re not sure.

Things are going to change…a lot.

7. It’s okay to try different approaches. It’s okay to do things that aren’t ideal. It’s okay to screw up and “waste time” in the gym. You learn that way. You’ll go through physical changes, mental changes, taste changes, and you’ll start to find what you do and don’t like along with what works and doesn’t (for you). I started out with strength training, I shifted into bodybuilding for a few years, I stopped doing cardio and started making all of my workouts based around plyometrics and conditioning, and eventually I made my way back to strength training. I regret none of it and I don’t believe any time in the gym is wasted, even if it’s not optimal training. I learned (and continue to learn) from every session in the gym. I’d estimate that I’ve done about 3,000 workouts to date (I’ve averaged 1-2 days off per week for almost 10 years but have had many weeks with no days off and some with up to 3). I truly believe that each one has it’s purpose. Whether it’s a shitty workout that teaches you to get more sleep, or an awesome workout that was supposed to be shitty that proved to you that you can’t train based on how you feel all the time. Which brings me to my next point

Don’t train based on how you feel emotionally.

8. If I only trained when I felt like it, I think I’d probably workout 2-3 days per week. Some weeks it would be higher, some weeks maybe lower. I train regardless of how I feel emotionally. I go and do it and I do the best that I can. You cannot train based on your emotions only. Not if you want to make any kind of significant progress at least. With that said, if you PHYSICALLY feel like shit, that is up to you. Sometimes it’s better to rest, sometimes training makes you feel better. That is something you learn about yourself over the years. I am still learning it, but it becomes easier over time.

 Take rest days and don’t go balls to the wall every day.

9. STILL trying to learn and implement this one. I’ve gotten markedly better at this over the years, but I still have a hard time working out at a level 6-7. Rest and recovery are so important and truly do allow you to make better progress. Still though, it’s hard for some people to NOT push themselves to a 9 or 10 at every work out (hiiiii). It can be hard to take rest days when you love training and want to do it every day. BUT, it will make you a better lifter, a happier person, and overall stronger lifter if you do take rest days and go lighter on some days as well.

Enjoy the chance to move and be strong.

10. I look around and feel sad that so many people are sedentary. Many people my age (I’m 29) get out of breath just taking a brisk walk. They can’t lift their groceries or luggage. When you’re young, you’re just weak and it’s fine. When you get older? That’s a broken hip because your bones are brittle too. That’s health issues related to your weight or weakness. As we age, we aren’t going to become more mobile or stronger by doing nothing. Strength training, walking, being active, staying fit are ESSENTIALS in life. They are looked at as options in this society and I don’t believe that should be the case. It makes me angry that people think a sedentary life is the norm. I believe being active should be as much of your daily routine as brushing your teeth is, because what you do now WILL determine how you get around when you’re older. Do you want to have strong bones, feel good, be able to move around on your own and take care of yourself because you’ve continued to stay strong? Or do you want to have people help you to stand up out of your chair and get injured because you chose to let your body degenerate without even putting up a fight? You get to do this. You have the opportunity to give yourself more. Enjoy that, embrace it, and don’t take it for granted.

 

I could probably write about 500 more things I’ve learned, but these are the first 10 that came to my mind. I encourage you to find what you like and what works for you. You will find physical strength, but you will also find mental strength. I always say physical strength = mental strength. What you do IN THE GYM, will absolutely translate to what you do in everything else. Your relationships, career, friendships, and even the relationship with yourself. My way isn’t your way, but you do have a way. You may have already found it or this may be foreign to you and you’ll need to find a starting point. Don’t be complacent. You weren’t destined to be sedentary and “un-athletic”. We were meant to move. Give yourself the opportunity to grow. Both your muscles AND your mind.

Fitness Motivation: How Should You Train?

Hey friends! I know I’ve been pretty absent, but I’m still here! Let’s waken this blog up with some fitness motivation!

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If there is one thing I’ve learned over the 8+ years I’ve been in the fitness world (and let’s just hope it’s more than one! ;-)), it’s what keeps someone in the game.

  • What is it that makes you keep coming back for more consistently?
  • What makes you quit or take long breaks from fitness?
  • What SHOULD you be doing to ensure you’ll keep on keeping’ on?

I believe there are two distinct questions that you must be able to answer YES to in order to determine if you are training the right way…

  1. Does this training support your goal?
  2. Do you enjoy it?

Let’s dig a bit deeper into each of them.

Does this training support your goal?

I believe all goals are equal. No goal is better than another and to each his own. I find SO often in the gym that people shun you for not wanting what they want. They walk around with that air around them, they look down on you, and most of all, they actually think they are BETTER than you. I find it extremely frustrating, but I’m confident enough to not care. Unfortunately, there are people in the gym that are already feeling subconscious enough and don’t need the added pressure/shaming. Just because you love bodybuilding, does not mean that the man training for a powerlifting meet is inadequate. Just because your goal is to go to the Crossfit Games, doesn’t mean that the girl that just wants a better butt’s goal is any less important. The gym is a big giant YOU VS. YOU. It isn’t about anyone else and your goal is the only one that should matter.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, there IS a time when one type of training is better than another, and that time is when you’re looking at how you’re getting to your goals. If your goal is to get stronger and do a powerlifting meet, a bodybuilding program is not going to be sufficient. If your goal is to run a marathon, only lifting weights probably won’t help you get there. I like to think of training as a pyramid. Like an actual 3D pyramid that you learned about in geometry. The top of the pyramid is your goal, whatever that might be. The 4 sides are your 4 main avenues of achieving that goal. For example, let’s say your goal is to do a bodybuilding competition. One side of your pyramid would be your bodybuilding training program, another side would be your diet/cardio, another side would be your posing, and the 4th side would be some type of muscle health action like yoga, foam rolling, or sports massages. 

Do you enjoy it?

This might be the biggest factor in it all, depending on the person. While you will never enjoy EVERY training session or exercise, while there will be pain (the good kind), while there will be days where you’d rather just sit on the couch, overall you must enjoy what you’re doing (and I guess this applies to more than just working out…). Take me for example. If you told me I had to do pilates every day for my exercise, it is highly probably that I would end up missing it more often than going. I’ve tried several different training protocols over the years and at different times, I’ve enjoyed different ways of training. Currently, my favorite way to work out is to start with a heavy lift, then move into some medium weight/rep range supersets or plyometrics, and finish off with higher rep accessory work. Is EVERY training session built this way? No. But the majority of them are. I like them and they support my goal of getting stronger, being functional and agile, and giving me the aesthetic results I want. I also do things I DON’T like, but that I NEED to do to support my goals such as flexibility work (need to keep my muscles healthy) and dieting (I want to look a certain way), but liking the majority of what I do is KEY to long-lasting commitment.

 

You’ll never enjoy every piece of the puzzle. If you do, more power to you, but it isn’t likely.  But do make it a priority to enjoy at least one piece. Maybe that piece is feeling like you could deadlift a car (or if you’re super duper strong, actually deadlifting a car) or maybe it’s hiking in beautiful scenery. WHATEVER it is that you love, you must incorporate it. If not, you’re more likely to fizzle out. If you really hate something, it’s hard to stick to it. If you at least like parts of something, it becomes easier.

Wherever you are in your fitness journey, make your own personal goals a priority and work on finding a way to achieve those goals. We are only given one body and you don’t get a do-over.

Find something you love, find something that will help you to get where you want to be, and then just #riseandgrind.

How I’ve Been Staying on Track

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Hey people!

Are you pumped for the weekend? If not, it’s time to GET pumped!

Can you tell I have a lot of energy today? Weeeeee.

Anyways, I’ve recently started dieting again. (I hate that word. It seems to make people think you’re starving yourself or being unhealthy. What I mean by dieting is that I’m making a concerted effort to lean out. My goal is to drop some body fat while keeping as much muscle as possible.) If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll know I’ve tried and failed at this many times in the past few years, but I don’t give up and I’m back at it again. (more on that below)

The difference this time is my mindset. I’ve taken away all of the excuses, I’ve found my real reason…my “why”, and I’m focused. I’m doing everything I can to stay in this mindset too. It’s really the key to being successful. Being “dialed in”.

On another note, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into some of the things I’ve been eating lately. I’ve been trying some new things and getting creative, so I thought you might like to see it. I’m also eating a whole lot more fat now than ever before, which is kind of fun! This is definitely not all that I’m eating, but just some of the tastier meals.

Here are some of the foods on my menu lately:

-Eggs, egg whites, and cheese WITH coconut oil (don’t knock it til ya try it!)

-Chicken and potatoes with BUTTER (heavenly butter)

-Shrimp & avocado with lemon juice squeezed on top! (I cheat and buy 100% pure lemon juice)

-Protein pancakes with Almond Butter

-Greek Yogurt with fruit

My post-workout carbs are anything from sour gummy worms to low-fat ice cream. Sometimes I’m boring and just have fruit and kombucha, but those are 2 of my favorite things, so I’m perfectly happy with them!

How I’ve Been Staying on Track

Staying on track is hard, and it doesn’t come from being compliant (well, it does but hear me out)….it comes from getting in the right mindset first. Being compliant is EASY when your head is in the right place. When you truly WANT to achieve your goals more than you want anything else. In fact, if you don’t want them badly enough, you’re likely to not ever accomplish them. It’s why many of us (myself included) start and stop so many things. Sometimes our goals change, and that’s perfectly okay. Sometimes the goals we choose aren’t REALLY what we want….and we realize that as we start to get into them. But sometimes, we just aren’t set up to succeed. We haven’t prepared ourselves to take on what is necessary to achieve our goals. Sometimes it takes a few set backs to find out what it is that you need to succeed.

So here are some of the things I’ve been doing differently this time around….

-I’m telling everyone around me that I’m dieting. Accountability!

-I’m prepping and planning my food so it’s always ready for me (and I don’t grab the fastest thing I can find)

-I’m drinking lots of water and adding pure lemon juice to it (it gives it a sour kick and I drink more)

-I’m sticking to my rest days even though it’s really hard! I actually have 3 rest days per week right now. It’s totally weird. I’m used to having 1-2. 3 is a lot for me!

-I’m watching videos and reading other blogs to stay motivated

-I’m chatting with friends to help keep me motivated and on track and using the Fit Lizzio Fitness Private FB group (we have a really awesome group there….email me: fitlizzio@gmail.com if you want to join us!!)

-I’m not allowing excuses to happen. I have a goal in mind and I know how to get there. I’m not getting in my own way anymore, which I’ve been guilty of in the past.

-But the biggest difference? My mind is in the right place for this. I truly WANT it.

The bottom line is that I’m setting myself up for success. I’m PRE-ensuring that I have my bases covered. I’m NOT being lazy and forgetting/neglecting to prep and plan my food. I’m noticing what outside forces try to derail me and finding ways to combat them. I’m keeping my head IN THE GAME. I’m staying on my path. I know it sounds so simple (and in reality it actually is), but as I said earlier, mindset is everything. If your mind is “in it”, all you have to do is execute. Simple as that.

I also want to point out that failing is not a reason to stop trying. I’ve failed A MILLION times. In many endeavors in life, but especially in sticking to my goals. It can be embarrassing and the more you fail, the harder it is to believe in yourself. People around you also start to doubt you. But what I’m realizing is that failure is normal. It is part of us. We were meant to fail. In fact, I believe it is CRUCIAL to our successes. You MUST fail. Sometimes once or twice…and sometimes 30 times! You know what else we were meant to do? Pick ourselves up and SUCCEED. We were meant to persevere. In fact, our failures build our strengths, so long as you don’t let them ground you.

So that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m picking myself up. And I’m going to crush my goals like never before.

Who’s with me?

 

Underestimating Yourself + Weekend Fun

I am a resource.

I live and breathe health and fitness. And by that, I don’t mean that I am 100% healthy all the time or that I’m the fittest person on the planet. I mean that my world literally revolves around health and fitness. My jobs are all health and fitness related, I personally do my best to stay healthy and fit, and it happens to be what interests me most in this world. So when I say I live and breathe it, I mean it.

With that said, I tend to underestimate myself at times. Forgetting that I’ve been studying, learning, and DOing this “stuff” for almost 10 years. I still have plenty to learn, and am constantly challenging myself to learn more, but I DO know a lot and I tend to forget that sometimes. For me, it’s common knowledge. It’s no different to me than knowing my couch is black and tan. And sometimes I forget that it isn’t that obvious to most people. That is no fault of their own, and as long as they’re willing, I take those opportunities to teach.

I think a lot of us do this. We forget that what WE know is very valuable. Because it’s such a common knowledge in our world, we tend to underestimate what we have to share with others.

It’s the reason I started training clients again. I LOVE teaching others, I love showing them how they can achieve their goals, and it helps ME continuously learn, learn, learn. I’ve been training myself and learning from other world-renowned fitness professionals for YEARS, and now I’m getting to learn by training my own clients and learning it from a whole other perspective.

Because of this, I’ve started sharing more and more fitness tips that I think would be useful for others on Instagram and Facebook. Those things that I felt like “everyone knew”. And I urge you all to ask more questions. I’ve always been a curious person, and whenever I’m unsure, I always ask. Any of my trainers would tell you, I constantly had questions. “why am I doing this?, what does this do? Is this the best way to do it?” and then I would experiment on my own too. So all of this to say, USE ME. Ask me questions. Get my advice.

I’m HAPPY to share! You can e-mail me fitlizzio@gmail.com or message me on Facebook! I’m always listening! (well, Charlie might say differently but…you know :-D)

I encourage you to stop underestimating yourself as well. Share your knowledge. Somebody (or a lottabodies out there might really need it!)

Ok, onto more exciting things…

WEEKEND FUN

This weekend, I taught boot camp, played baseball, and lounged. It was great! Instead of talking about it, here are some photos….

My #1 Fan!

My #1 Fan!

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SO GOOD. Shrimp, avocado, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, garlic salt. THAT’S IT

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Question of the Day:

1. Why do you do what you do? Whether it’s for work, a hobby, etc.

Hitting Your Workout Groove + Less Serious Stuff

Hey guys!

We are THISCLOSE to the weekend! Woohoo!

I have a good mix of relaxation, fun and activities planned into my weekend:

-Teaching Boot Camp

-Friend’s Birthday Dinner

-Playing baseball (I joined a men’s wooden bat league!)

-Laying by the pool

Good Workouts and Hitting your Workout Groove

I’ve been getting in some really great workouts lately and it reminded me of the ups and downs that come with fitness. You go through times where you just have it in you to push really hard, hit new PR’s, and see great results. Then you have times where you are unmotivated, barely getting through your workouts, and just feeling kind of BLAH. These times can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It isn’t a perfect cycle and it goes in waves. I’m currently on a HIGH with workouts and have been really crushing it in the gym! I took a week off when I was in Big Bear and can’t help but think that giving myself a break from the gym was the exact motivation and rest my body needed to start hitting it hard again. Finding your groove isn’t easy and isn’t always something you can wrap your head around. It’s easy to workout when you’re feeling motivated, and extremely difficult when you’re not. The important thing to keep in mind is to stay consistent and push through no matter what you’re feeling that day. This isn’t to say that some days are better taken as a rest day, because there are definitely times like that, but I’m talking about the mindset. If your head is what’s getting in the way, you have to push past it. You have to keep on keepin’ on and KNOW that if you’re in a rut, at some point it will turn around. It’s part of the process and learning to love and trust the process is a HUGE thing that has taken me YEARS to learn. I used to hear it and even repeat it to myself, but I didn’t truly believe or understand it. These days, I do. I get it. I’ve been training for 8 years straight now (hard to believe!) and it amazes me that I just keep learning more and more about myself, training, the body, and how they all work together and sometimes against each other. This is sort of a brain dump, but I couldn’t help but think about it today. So what should you take away from this?

If you’re having a bad/off day, week, or even MONTH, don’t get discouraged. YOU ARE NORMAL. Everyone goes through it. Bodybuilders, gymnasts, athletes, you name it. No matter how much someone seems into their sport, there are times where you just don’t feel like you’re able to push and give 100%, and that’s OK. What’s important is that you stay in the game. You give what you can that day, and you trust in the process. The good days WILL come back.

(drops mic, walks off stage)

Less Serious Stuff

-I posted this photo on Instagram last night….Oscar is going Hollywood on me….

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-If anyone tries to bring you down, just send them this photo

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-Does anyone else’s dog sit on their lap like a human? Oscar is so odd.

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Look at where his feet are!

-I went to Ross the other day and bought a bunch of tank tops for like $6 each. This is one of them. Love bargain shopping!

IMG_9094Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the Day

1. Are you currently in a high or low with your workout routine?

2. Are you obsessed with your pet like I am?

 

FitLizzio Experiment UPDATE + Weekend Fun

Hey, HEY!

How’s your Monday treating you?

Mine is quite divine if I may say so! I LOVE productive Mondays because they set the tone for the week.

I trained a client early this morning, got my own workout in, and then got started on work. It’s a busy time for us right now, so I’m being very diligent about keeping lists and calendars to make sure I get everything done on time.

FitLizzio Experiment – Day 20

Guys, I am almost done with the 21 Day Clutch! It’s been a really fun experience and I can’t wait to give you a FULL recap (progress photos and all) this week!

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Remember when I said I didn’t really like the workouts? Well, I’ve been getting more accustomed to them. They’re still not my favorite way to push myself, but I’ve come to enjoy them. I’ll likely continue to do them once per week when I’m finished with the program.

Which brings me to my next thought: Sticking with something. It’s interesting to me how my attitude towards the program has morphed over the last 20 days. I’ve gone from super stoked, to somewhat bored, to seeing results and getting excited, to wondering how to incorporate this way of training into my regular training schedule. Total 180, right?!

It proves that even though something might not SEEM like the right thing, if you stick with it, it might just become something you like. While sometimes that won’t be the case, it is something I will keep in mind going forward.

This is by far my favorite part about doing challenges. I love learning new things and seeing what I’m capable of doing. I love finding out more about myself. It’s amazing how much we don’t know! You always hear that you learn about yourself when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, but it’s a really hard concept to grasp until you do it. I haven’t pushed myself outside of my comfort zone in far too long when it comes to working out, so this was really fun and motivating.

Look out for a post in the next few days for #allthethings related to the first installment of the FitLizzio Experiment: 21 Day Clutch.

Weekend Fun

This past weekend, my friend Torri and I launched Rockstar Fitness™ Boot Camp! Quest Nutrition was our sponsor and it was SUCH a fun day! Our class went really well and everyone loved it! I can’t wait for next Saturday!

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Special RSF Gift Bags from Quest!

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Rockstar Fitness™ Boot Camp in action!

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Wall balls!

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Our OFFICIAL Mascot: Oscar the Boxer

Our crazy group!

The rest of the weekend wasn’t quite as exciting, but was just what I needed: time with my pup, time with my man, and relaxation.

We went to breakfast at IHOP on Sunday morning (and of course, we brought Oscar).

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We followed that up with coffee, of course, and then decided to hang out by the pool for a bit.

It was a perfect day outside!

Afterwards, we went and saw Spy with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham. SO funny! I love MM and both Charlie and I really enjoyed it.

We came home and watched a few episodes of Better Call Saul (we just started it…so far so good!) while we ate dinner, and then I was so exhausted that I headed straight to bed.

THE END.

Question of the Day

1. What do you LOVE about boot camps?

2. What do you HATE about boot camps?

Why I Write My Workouts Down {Monday Motivation}

Happy Monday people!!

I love Mondays! They are even better when I get my ass outta bed and get a workout in first thing in the morning. It is always soooo hard to get out of bed to do it (I hit snooze at least 6 times every Monday), but when I’m finished with the workout, I feel ready to take on the day.

This morning, I got up and headed to the track for a little something different. Last night, I wrote down what my workout would be (as I always do), so that I could just get up, throw on workout clothes and shoes, and just start doing.

Here’s what I did:

20 minute workoutMy goal was to do about 20 minutes of work, and I was in and out of there in 25 minutes (including my warm-up).

Brain Dump

I think I was on my 3rd or 4th bleacher when I started thinking about how f*&*ing hard this workout was and how much my legs were dying. This propelled me to start thinking about what i would do if I had just decided to “wing” my workout. I probably would have settled at 5 bleachers (because it was plenty) and gone home.

Since I had written out my workout beforehand, I knew that I had slated myself to do 10 bleachers, so I wasn’t going to quit until those 10 were done. (barring any injuries or my body being LITERALLY done).

It reminded me of the importance of having a plan. If you walk in without a plan, you’ll do as much as you can, work until it gets hard, and then probably go home.  Without a plan, it’s easier to talk yourself into just finishing when you feel like it. If you finish when you feel like it, it’s usually before you’ve really hit that hard sticking point. It’s that point when you want to quit and be done. Some days, that’s okay and I do believe in listening to your body, but if you’re trying to really make changes and achieve goals, quitting when you feel like it just won’t cut it. You need to push past the sticking point to really see progress. (at least that’s my opinion, others will have their own I’m sure).

If you go in with a plan, you’re more likely to stick to that plan. You’ll do those last few reps you thought you couldn’t do, and finish the final sets you didn’t think you could do, much like I did today at the track.

IMG_7079I hobbled away from the track today with my legs visibly shaking, but I completed the workout that I set for myself. It feels really good to want to quit, but to then push through and finish strong. I knew today would be a good day because of it.

Your Turn

I challenge you to start planning your workouts. Even if that means writing it in your car before you walk into the gym (which I do allllll the time), just set a goal for yourself, and complete that goal.

As always, check with a doctor before starting any new workout program and listen to your body. Learn the difference between pushing through a sticking point and pushing TOO hard. There is a difference and the more you workout, the more you’ll start to learn when to quit and when to push through.

Post-Track Workout Face

Post-Track Workout Face

Q’s:

1. Do you plan your workouts or just wing it?

2. Do you feel like you push through your “sticking point” or do you usually quit at that point?

It’s Never Too Late

WoohoO! We made it to Friday!

I had a late-ish night last night, but only because I was hanging out with this stud muffin:

Love this little guy! :)I drank a lot of coffee today when I got up and spent this morning on back to back to back to back phone calls and am now working on emails on emails on emails. 0_o

(Oh, by the way, just a heads up! I’m doing something cool with my subscribers to help them reach their goals. If you’re curious about it, subscribe to my e-mail list and I’ll send you the info. I promise I’m not an annoying e-mailer and if you hate me, you can always unsubscribe. ;-))

* = required field

Anyways, as I was saying….I’m pretty buried today with work, but I’m hoping to crack it out in record time. When I’m in the zone, I can work pretty quickly, so I’m hoping I can get IN THE ZONE today. I took a break to blog because after being on so many phone calls, my mind just needs a minute.

It’s Never Too Late

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who is in her early 40’s and we were discussing workouts and fitness (shocker, right?). She asked me what I do for workouts and how I got my bubble butt, and so we started talking about my training. I was explaining some of the exercises I do, that I lift heavy, that I do some conditioning, and that I just stay consistent with my training. She stopped me and said to me “geez, i wish I could do that. If I was your age, I’d start training with you!”.

This woman is in decent shape, does a lot of cardio, and doesn’t have any physical disabilities, so I looked at her and said, why can’t you start now? She gave me the usual response/excuse of being too old, not having time, blah blah blah. I told her that ANYONE can start somewhere and that it’s never too late to start something new. She didn’t seem convinced, so we continued chatting.

I told her I didn’t get to deadlifting 225 overnight. It took me a lonngggggg time to build up to that. YEARS. Lifting heavy means something different for everyone, so I clarified to her that my  heavy weights are not going to be her heavy weights and that all she has to do is pick up weights that feel heavy to HER.

We discussed this for a bit and she finally started to get motivated. I could see it in her eyes that she finally believed that she probably could do that. She started getting excited and I gave her a few exercises, resources, and training tips to work on, and that she should email me in a few weeks to let me know how it’s going. She left the gym with a twinkle in her eye and I’m excited to see how it goes for her.

This completely made my day and was something I knew I wanted to share with my readers. I get into conversations just like this quite often. For some reason, someone along the way told us that our age and/or timing were the end-all-be-all for starting something new. That if you didn’t do it at a certain time or did it “too late in life” that you couldn’t do that.

….And some of us actually believe that.

That is SOOOO far from the truth. You can start ANYTHING you want at any age barring any true barriers. Look at all of the people that go back to school for their master’s degrees at 40, 50, even 60 years old. Why should training be any different? You don’t have to do what you’ve always done. It’s 2015, and almost everything is acceptable now, people. If something looks interesting, exciting, fun, or just intriguing to you….TRY IT. Know who you are and where you are in your fitness level, and just start from there. You have nobody to compete against except for yourself and when you start to notice that you’re improving, it’s a really amazing feeling.

I encourage anyone that has ever thought it was “too late” to try something new, to take the first step. Take a free fitness class, do an intro session with a personal trainer, or walk into the weight room for the first time (I promise, everyone in there is too focused on themselves to be watching you).

IT ISN’T TOO LATE. Take advantage of where you are now, and start doing something you’ve always wanted to try.

The Real Workout Starts When You Want To Stop + FitLizzio.com

Q’s:

1. What’s something new that you’ve tried recently?

2. Have you ever tried something you thought you’d love and ended up hating it after you tried it?

Wanting vs. Doing

Hey guys!

I can’t believe it’s already mid-week. Fuh-lyingggg by. I also thought it was Monday all day yesterday, so when I woke up and realized it was Wednesday, I just MAY have done a little happy dance.

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I took a TOUGH boxing class last night at Iron Boxing Santa Monica and as I was leaving class, I started thinking about how many times I’ve wanted to skip boxing class and just go home and relax.

I know everyone thinks I’m the Energizer bunny and just want to workout all day long, but that’s far from the truth. Do I love working out? HELL YES. But that doesn’t mean I always want to do it. And I’d say that half the time (if not more!), I really would rather just go home and kick my feet up. If you asked the boxing instructors how often I walked into class feeling tired and like I’d rather be anywhere but there, they would start laughing. It happens like 75% of the time!! But I always get my butt to class. And I always stay.

metediboxThis got me thinking about Wanting vs. Doing. You don’t have to WANT to do what you’re doing, you just have to do it. That goes for so many things in life, but especially when it comes to working out. You KNOW you’re going to feel good when you’re done, and you KNOW it’s good for you. If you’re sitting around waiting for the motivation to hit, you’re wasting time. You don’t have to be motivated, you don’t have to “want” to do it, you just have to DO IT.

Some days will be easier than others. Some days you’ll be skipping into the gym (or am I the only one that still skips???), and some days you will flat out look like you want to just curl into a ball on the floor and suck your thumb. I’m not joking…I get that way…A LOT.

Yes, I love working out and YES, I love the way it makes me feel (for OH so many reasons). There is nothing quite like feeling strong, confident, and empowered. For me, the weight room makes me feel all of those things. I like to see new veins. I like to see my muscles pumped up. I like to push big weights around. THAT is what I think about when I just want to turn around and go home. I think about the results. I think about how I’ll feel afterwards. And I JUST FREAKING DO IT.

pull up picSide note: Of course, sometimes it is better to go home. Like if you’ve worked out 6 days in a row and your body feels like jello, GO HOME. But you know your body and you know the difference. If it’s just your mind not wanting to be there? Stop being a baby and just do it.

Why I Train & What I Ate Yesterday

All I have to say today is….I’M SORE. Holy crap….

It’s crazy. Those who have been working out for a long time can understand. You go through time periods where you’re just REALLY on your game. Killing your workouts, pushing harder than ever, and really “digging in”. I feel like I’m in one of those phases and I’m loving it! I’m super sore and have been feeling muscles I didn’t know existed lately. That says a lot for someone who’s been training for 7 years (can’t believe it’s been that long!).

I did a back workout on Saturday that I’m STILL sore from and a leg workout last WEDNESDAY that left me sore clear through Monday. I’ll take it! I feel on, I feel good, my head’s in the game. (The results are showing, too!)

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I still get people that ask me all the time “what are you training for?” I’m not entirely sure how to respond. It’s hard to explain the competitions that I compete in, in my head. (Haha, yes I’m crazy!) I try to explain it, but most people don’t get it. I train like I’m training for something, but the only something I’m training for is myself. I train to get better every day. I train to prove to myself that I can do it. I train to see progress. I also want to show the rest of the world the impact of training. Maybe MY form of training isn’t right for you, but SOME form probably is. Whether that’s hiking, biking, rock climbing, running, or whatever it might be….there’s something for everyone. It builds mental strength in ways nothing else can. I know that the reason I push so hard and am so efficient, goal-oriented, and well-rounded with my work is because of the training I do at the gym. I treat my work, like I treat my workouts: I’m there to kick ass. I’m not there to putz around. Working out is the one thing in life that nobody can do for you. You can get help with just about anything these days…..but nobody can workout for you. If you take that attitude with you to work, I think you’ll be amazed at how your productivity and success comes to fruition. I am a more confident, go-getting person than I was before I started working out and I am thankful that I fell into Lifts Studio back in 2007 and started this whole “working out” thing.

I’ll step off my soap box now. I get going and just can’t stop!

What I Ate Yesterday

People love to see what other people eat. I’m guilty too. Sweet potatoes are always sweeter on someone else’s plate, right?! 😀

Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast: Quest Bar + Coffee + Apple (had a late start and was out of eggs :-()

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Lunch: 3/4 cup cooked Brown Rice + 1/2 Avocado + Ground Turkey Burger Patty (about 4 oz.)

Snack: 2 Apples + Kombucha

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(I definitely had a 2nd coffee too, but I don’t remember when it was?? LOL)

Dinner: Chicken Breast w/ Wing Sauce (umm…I may or may not have eaten this for dinner every night for the last 2 weeks! OBSESSED) + Green Beans

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After-Dinner Snack: 1 Peach & some grapes!! (I LOVE GRAPES)

Kind of a weird day of eating, but then again I’m kind of a weird girl. I am super busy during the day and sometimes it catches up to me and I realize I haven’t eaten enough. I usually end up making up for it over the weekend though (frozen yogurt? YES PLEASE).

Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday! It’s Leg day for me…..wish me luck!

Questions of the Day:

1. Do you get into food ruts and eat the

#samethingeveryday?

2. When did you find your place in fitness? What is

your weapon of choice?

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