Tag Archive for fitness

How do I Know How Much Weight to Use in the Gym?

How do I Know How Much Weight to Use in the Gym?IMG_0151

This is probably one of the most common questions I get from clients and friends alike. It makes sense, as everyone comes from a different level of strength and there isn’t really a “guide” that will tell you what weights you should be using. (Side note: Comparing yourself to other people is NOT the way to determine this.)

We are used to looking at a chart to let us know where we fall within a category.

  • If we are a certain height and weight, we should ideally be within a certain body fat range for optimal performance.
  • If we look at our height, weight, and activity level, we can determine approximately how many calories we should be eating on a daily basis.
  • If your heart rate is at a certain level, a chart at the gym will tell you what “zone” you’re in (I have an entire post on this topic coming in the next few weeks as well)

But when it comes to the weight room, no such chart exists. It leaves people doing the same weights with the same rep ranges for YEARS and wondering why they don’t see changes. It is a factor that pushes people to “confuse their muscles” because their current program is “broken”. So let’s break this down once and for all so you can start seeing results in the gym and feel confident that you’re using the correct weights for YOU (remember, everyone is different, ESPECIALLY when it comes to strength).

A Simple Way to Determine What Weights you Should be Using and How to Progress Each Week

1. It’s important to start out by having a plan when you walk into the gym. Whether that is a program that you got from a coach, a plan you printed off from the internet, or just a workout that you or a friend jotted down onto a sticky note, always walk into the gym with an idea of what you’ll be doing.

2. Buy a journal or notebook so that you can track your weights and reps. I know many people that will say “oh it’s ok, I remember all my numbers!”. I’m sure you do….until you don’t and you end up looking like a lost puppy in the gym. Just don’t be stubborn and write your damn workouts down. 🙂

3. Be sure that at the very least, there is a number of sets and a rep range for you to follow. You could also get more technical with predetermined rest periods and tempos, but for simplicity, we’ll leave that out for now.

4. You’ll also want to make sure you can perform the prescribed movement with a full range of motion with bodyweight before you start adding weights. For example, if your workout has you doing back squats for 3 sets of 10,  but you can’t do 1 barbell back squat with a full range of motion, you’d be better off backing down to either a bodyweight squat, box squat, or goblet squat to start.

5. Once you know you can perform each exercise with a full range of motion, you can start to begin adding weight. 

Alright COOL. So you’ve got your handy dandy notebook in one hand, your workout program in another hand, and your coolest workout outfit on (these are the important things people). You’re ready to go!

Using our previous example, your workout program says to do Back Squats for 3 sets of 10 reps. Those are your working sets and typically do not include any warm-up sets. You’ll want to warm up for a few sets prior to starting your working sets (more on that below). Ideally, you’ll also perform some dynamic movements before starting your workout as well.

Someone who knows approximately what weights they’ll be using for their working sets will know when they crossover from warm-up set to working set. Because of this, they will also likely keep their warm up sets shorter (less reps) in order to preserve energy for their working sets. You’ll get to that point in no time, but for now, our warm-up sets will be the same rep range as our working sets so that you can determine what your working sets will be without over/under shooting.

Let’s say you put the barbell on your back (45 lbs) and do 10 reps. It’s no problem and you feel like you could definitely do more, so you rest for a minute or 2 and then add 10lbs on each side (65lbs). You perform a set of 10 reps here and while it’s slightly harder, you still feel that you could go heavier. You add another 10lbs on each side (85lbs) and perform your set. This time, you struggle with the last 2-3 reps. While you could probably go heavier, this is where I’d recommend starting. Remember, you’re not trying to be a hero on Day 1. You’ll have plenty of time to go for PR’s later on, but determining a manageable starting point will set you up for success.

Since you’ve determined that 85 lbs is a good working set for you, you’d perform 2 more sets at 85 lbs and move on to the next exercise.

The next time that back squats are prescribed at 3 sets of 10 reps, you now know that you did 85lbs for 3 sets of 10 last time (because it’s written down in your AWESOME notebook that you’re still carrying around even though you spilled coffee on it this morning, right?!)

This week, you’ll want to try to add slightly more weight. Here’s what you’ll want to do now:

1st Warm up set: 5-7 reps at 45lbs

2nd Warm Up set: 3-5 reps at 65 lbs

3rd Warm Up set: 1-3 reps at 80 lbs

1st Working Set: 90lbs for 10 reps

From here you will decide where to go:

  • If you couldn’t finish all 10 reps at 90lbs, you’d go back down to 85 lbs.
  • If you completed all 10 reps and it was pretty hard (last few reps were a struggle), then you’d stay here for the remaining 2 sets.
  • If this felt pretty easy to you or you felt that you could do more, you may try for 95 lbs on the next set.
  • You can also increase the amount of reps that you did without increasing the weight used. For example, if you couldn’t complete 90lbs for 10 reps, but you could do 85lbs for 12 reps, that is still an increase in what you did the week before.

These strategies can be applied towards virtually any exercise. The big take away here is to try to increase either the amount of weight used or the reps completed each week. I say TRY because it won’t always happen. Some weeks the weight will go up smoothly and other weeks you will easily convince yourself that all of your muscles must have been abducted by aliens. And hey, maybe that is what happens. I’m no xenoarchaeologist.

While there are about 100 different ways you can determine what weights to start with and how to progress in the weight room, this is a very simple way to do it. You can continue to apply these principles each week to your workouts and over time, you’ll get stronger.

Be aware that at some point, the weights won’t go up as easily. Strength is not linear AND has diminishing returns. This means that a new lifter will likely see quick gains in a short period of time. Someone who has been lifting for many years sees much smaller gains over time. This doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, it is just how the body works. It’s part of what keeps it fun.

I love to keep in touch with people and am happy to answer any other questions you have. Feel free to leave a comment below OR email me at fitlizzio@gmail.com. Even if it’s just to say HEY.

Happy lifting!

-Lizzio

 

What I’ve Been Up To

It’s been a while since I’ve been an every-day-blogger, and for now, it’s what is working for me. There may be a day when daily blogging is back in my life, but for now I’m on the when-I-feel-like-it train.

I thought I’d pop in for now and let you know what I’m up to these days, so here goes!

Workouts

-Still doin’ it! It’s crazy to think that 9.5 years ago, I stepped into Lifts for the first time and started this crazy, wonderful adventure. I’ve been consistently working out since then and I plan on never stopping.

-My focus has finally shifted to powerlifting. It was something I’d been eyeing for the last 1.5 years and I had started gearing my workouts towards that style, but I finally bit the bullet and started training at a powerlifting gym this past January. I LOVE IT. Not only do I love the fact that I’m getting stronger, but the vibe of a powerlifting gym is just so much different than a regular gym. The focus is very little about aesthetics and very much about strength. You get a break from those who are there “to be seen” and instead get to lift weights with a bunch of like-minded people that also want to be strong AF. It’s quite wonderful. (I still do tons of glute work too, in case you were worried ;-))

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Food

-I’m eating what I want and being mindful of it. I’ve never been happier. I’m not focused on losing weight, I’m in control, and I’m happy with my body. Could I afford to lose 10-15 lbs to be leaner? Sure thing. But it’s not my focus right now. I’m simply focused on eating to fuel my workouts and also enjoying life.

Travel

-I’ve been gone almost every weekend this year! Multiple trips to AZ to see family, Seattle, Park City, Dana Point, and Maui. I’m headed to Kansas City at the end of this month for a strength training seminar and then to Big Bear at the end of June. I guess you could say I’ve got the travel bug!

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Work

-I’m still training clients at 2 different gyms, teaching a weekly boot camp, and working as a business consultant to gyms. The balance is great and I’m so happy that I’m able to work hard and play hard too!

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Oscar

-This is always the first question I’m asked by family and friends. “How’s Oscar?” He is definitely the star of the show and he loves every minute of it. This dog makes my life better. He’s the best friend I could ever ask for.

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That’s what’s going on with me! Tell me what’s up with you! Traveling? Working out? I want to hear about it, so comment below!

Workouts + Rockstar Fitness Bootcamp + Cool Quote

Hey! Thanks for the awesome feedback on yesterday’s post. I’m happy to be back.

I’ll admit, getting back into “real-life” mode after so much time off has been a little difficult, but I’m also glad the holidays are over.

It’s been raining here in LA today (think apocalypse), so aside from training my clients this morning, I’m trying to stay indoors until it’s time to workout.

I believe an update on the workout front is due!

-I’ve been hitting it really hard and am loving the results of the work I’m putting in.

-I hit a 305×5 PR on hip thrusts last week (video below)

-I’m sitting at around 165/170×3 for back squats.

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-Deadlifts have been about 205×5 for multiple sets.

-I hit a 100×5 bench press for 2 sets last week for another PR.

Focusing on getting strong has been such a game-changer for me. It’s a change I made over a year ago, but it’s really made a difference in how I view my workouts and myself. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care what I looked like. Of course, I still do. But I’m much more forgiving these days. I appreciate what my body does for me and I love the new muscles I’ve added. That trumps my focus on aesthetics ten-fold. (And as a bonus I can get away with eating a lot more and still maintaining my weight)

Rockstar Fitness bootcamp is back for the new year and we’re kicking it off with a month-long series at Six:02 Santa Monica! Our first class was this past Sunday and it was SO much fun!

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Cool Quote

I was debating a purchase with my mom and my brother the other day and my mom told me a quote her grandfather used to say. It resonated with me and I wanted to share it because it applies to so many aspects in life:

“$10 won’t make me poor. $10 won’t make me rich”

In terms of fitness and health, one workout won’t make you fit, one meal won’t make you fat and vice versa.

Your consistent habits will ultimately shape what your life looks like.

I thought this was pretty cool, so I wanted to share it with you guys.

I’ll be back Thursday with a fun workout for you guys! Hint: BOOTY

-lizzy

Q of the Day

What is your #1 reason you workout?

Things I’m not Great At

Gooood morning!

Hope your day is off to a fantastic start! It is Friday, after all. I started my morning with some yoga (more on that in a minute), training a client, and then started my work day. and of course, coffee. Duh.

My workouts have been awesome lately, and I’ve been having fun writing my own again. It’s nice to have a coach and not have to think about my workouts, but I also love my own programming. I do a great job of progressively kicking my own ass. I’m getting stronger, and especially in my upper body. I hit a 105×3 bench press last weekend and can’t wait to test my 1RM soon!

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Things I’m Not Great At: (including ending sentences with a preposition)

-Being consistent with dieting

-Stretching & Foam Rolling

-Being patient

-Saying no

-Stopping to smell the roses

While everyone is all like “be positive, think positive, throw away the negative feelings”, I think it’s important to talk about weaknesses too. I agree, focusing on the positives is helpful for overall well-being, but if you ignore the negatives and weaknesses, you likely won’t get better at them. You’ll just hide them away and focus on other things. I’m super aware of my weaknesses and I’m also super annoyed that they bog me down.

I am trying to face all of them and take an active role in working on them.

What I’m Doing to Combat my Weaknesses:

Being consistent with dieting: I’m writing down my goals, writing in a journal, and taking things day by day. I screw up a lot. But I don’t give up. People can roll their eyes or think “she’ll never move forward”, but truthfully, I don’t care. I’m happy with my body, but I do have goals I want to reach. Dieting is my nemesis and I’m working on changing that. I’ll likely fail 23423 more times, but I assure you if that’s the case, I’ll try 23424 times.

Progress Picture – 10/28/15

Stretching & Foam Rolling: Well I realized that even when I told myself I’d do these things, I wouldn’t. When a friend reminded me that he teaches a badass yoga class and that I should try it, I thought “what the hell” and went. I ended up actually liking it (yup, it finally happened), and signed up for a membership. I’m taking class 2-3 times per week and it’s definitely helping my mobility. I am also foam rolling while I wait for clients (so thank you for when you’re late, you allow me more time with the foam roller).

Being patient: This sort of ties in with the above. I’m working on not expecting things to happen instantly. Of course, I don’t always succeed in this, but the intention of being more patient is there, and I’m at least at the point of thinking about it and reminding myself of this.

Saying no: I am the queen of saying “yes, i’d love to!” to just about everything. It landed me with 5 jobs and more stress than I could handle. These days, I’m learning to turn things down that aren’t worth it. I’ve turned down 2 projects in the last month, and I feel good about it.

Stopping to smell the roses: I live minutes from the beach and rarely go, so I’m determined to change that. Last week, I grabbed Oscar and went down to watch the sunset. We walked along the boardwalk and it was awesome. I also took him to the dog beach last weekend, which was equally awesome. I’m taking time to take in the things I normally walk past without noticing. It’s been really good for my mind and soul.

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Oddly enough, I’m noticing that I’m much more calm and at peace lately. I feel less stressed and more carefree. I think a combination of the above has contributed to that, and I’m feeling really happy in my life again.

I’ve said it before, but health and fitness isn’t always about working out, eating right, and #motivation selfies. Sometimes it’s about everything else that goes along with it. Conditioning the mind, learning new things, combating bad behaviors or negative thoughts, DEALING with problems head-on. I’ve been so focused on the fitness aspect, that I let a lot of the other stuff go over the years. It’s nice to start focusing on the other stuff, while maintaining the things I know I’m good at.

I’m headed to Chicago and then Phoenix next week, so I’m sure I’ll have some fun photos and workout videos then as well.

Later!

-Lizzy

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In my next life, I want to be a dog + a fun Halloween Workout!

Hey people!

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Long (ish) time no see! I’ve been doing a much better job of not expending more energy than I have, but unfortunately that has meant that the blog takes a back seat. Most of you know, I have 1 full time job and about 4-5 part time jobs, depending on the week. It’s great and not-so-great all at the same time. They’re all fun and rewarding jobs (training clients, writing, etc) but energy is energy and I only have so much!

Hence the title of this blog post. I spend a lot of time with my dog (I mostly work from home), and I observe him a lot. Okay, so I’m obsessed with my dog. Whatever.

The point is, I’ve figured out what he does and what he cares about. And I’ve come to the conclusion, that I’d like to be a dog in my next life. (if there is one). Here’s why:

Things he does every day:

-Play, Eat, Sleep, Potty, Cuddle with us

Things he cares about:

-His toys, going to the dog park, cuddling with us (and just being with us 24/7), eating, and sleeping.

He doesn’t need TV, a phone, or the internet to be entertained. In fact, I often watch him run around the house with a ball for 20+ minutes, fully entertained. When he’s relaxing, he just relaxes. He doesn’t relax and need to do 4 other things while relaxing.

When he’s at the dog park, he’s fully present. He plays with his dog friends, runs around, and looks to us every now and then to make sure we’re watching him (and haven’t left).

It sounds really silly, but I just find it very interesting that his life is very simple, and yet it’s all he needs. If only us humans could take note of some of that…

Workouts

Moving on to some FITNESS! I’ve been working out realllllly hard lately. It’s been super fun (as always), but I’ve found that I need to also stretch my body out a bit, which I’m terrible at doing on my own. I started going to a yoga class a few times a week (i know, i know) and it’s really been helping to open up my body. My lifts are feeling better and while it’s not my favorite thing on the planet, I can’t say I’m not enjoying it a little bit.

Here’s my workout plan for this week a la my coach, Erik Ledin:

Monday: Legs + Ladders (this was planned for tomorrow but I won’t have time to do it, so i moved it up a day)

Tuesday: Chest & Shoulders

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday: Back

Friday: Arms + Ladders

Saturday: High Intensity Cardio (just 15 minutes)

Sunday: OFF

DIET

While I’ve been a bit on and off over the few weeks, I’m slowly starting to pull myself back. I’ll be honest with you people, dieting is really hard for me. I can (and do) workout consistently and HARD, but when it comes to dieting, I’m a true work in progress. I won’t give up though, that’s for sure. I’ve done it before and can do it again, but to say that it isn’t a difficult process for me would be a lie! It’s super tough on my mind, and because I won’t allow myself to fall back into the disordered eating I lived in for a few years, I’m taking the cautious route. I pull back when I feel overwhelmed. I’m in a bit of a 2 steps forward 1 step back routine, and while it isn’t ideal, I’m still moving in the right direction. Just keepin’ it real up in here!

Fun Halloween Workout

As always, check with a doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Have fun, be safe, and if anything feels wrong, don’t do it. 🙂

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Catch ya later!

-Lizzy

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.

Weekly Update: Workouts, Fat Loss Success, & More!

Happy Friday friends!

First off, thank you for the awesome feedback on the 8 Weeks to a Killer Booty I released last week! That puppy got shared over 80 times on Facebook. I guess people really want a better butt haha.

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HELLO

Anyways, I thought I’d pop in and let you all know that I’m alive and well, just took a little break from blogging.

I’ve been really working on taking breaks and not overwhelming myself, so unfortunately, blogging had to take a back seat.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been lifting my little heart out!

How about a little recap from last week…

I was instructed to take a few days off by my coach, since I haven’t done that in, oh, years?

The closest I came to a break was while in Big Bear, except that I hiked, wakeboarded, and paddleboarded my way through the small town. Guess that didn’t really count as a break. =)

WORKOUTS THIS WEEK

Monday: LEG DAY…Deadlifts, Bulgarian Squats, Leg Press, Swiss Ball Leg Curls, Goblet Squats and more!

Tuesday: Upper Body: Barbell Military Press, DB Bench Press, Rows, Lat Pulldowns, and more

Wednesday: CROSSFIT…yep, that’s right. My friend talked me into going to Crossfit with her and it was a lot of fun. Here’s what we did

  • 5 min. EMOM Power Cleans
  • 5 min. EMOM Squat Cleans

11 minute AMRAP

  • 45 Double Unders (i did 135 singles because I can’t do very many unbroken DU’s)
  • 15 KB Swings
  • 5 Hang Clean & Jerks (I did Push Jerks)

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My traps are SOOOOO SORE. I haven’t done any olympic lifting in months and months, so it was like a whole new world for my traps! Haha.

Thursday: Another leg day. This time: Back Squats (was supposed to be front squats but my collar bones were bruised from CrossFit the day before), Hip Thrusts, DB Lunges, Leg Extensions, DB Sumo Squats and some ab work.

Friday: Supposed to be on upper body day, but my body is pretty shot. I’m going to do some at-home yoga (My brain can only handle 30 minutes, so I’ve been doing this Vinyasa flow every now and then. I actually like it too! Who am I?!)

Since I’m missing my upper body day, I’ll be doing it tomorrow instead along with an ab circuit and then will be taking a full rest day on Sunday.

CLIENT UPDATE

I’m so, so proud of my clients Kaspars and Melissa. They both signed up to for my fat loss program and their results over the last 30 days have been amazing! Fat loss success at it’s finest!

They lost a total of 15 inches!!! And Kaspars gained some in the booty!!<==LIFE GOALS

But what really struck me and made my day was this….because THIS is what it’s all about:

“We both see the huge changes in our approach to nutrition. We are much more intentional in our meals. Kaspars packs his lunch everyday, and Melissa works for Wolfgang Puck Catering– so food is always around. Because of the program, she actually takes the time to eat every few hours instead of fasting all day, and feasting in the evening.
Thank you so much for taking us through this. It’s lead to some changes that we intend to keep.
It may sound absurd, but we’ve started treating our bodies like they belong to people we like.” – Kaspars & Melissa Lucey-Grinsberg

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You guys are just awesome. So excited to continue working with you and see where you are in another 30 days. (if you want results like Kaspars & Melissa, email me at fitlizzio@gmail.com)

OPERATION GET LEAN 

Yes, don’t worry. I’m still kicking butt on my Operation: GET LEAN project (my own fat loss goals). I had about a week and a half set back where my head just wasn’t in the game, and I ALLOWED my excuses to get in the way.

I’ve been practicing taking poor thoughts and turning them into positives. For example:

“Ugh, I can’t eat (insert yummy food here).”

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“I can totally eat (insert yummy food here) whenever I want. I’m choosing to work towards fat loss, and more importantly I GET TO do this. I’m not going to eat it right now because it doesn’t support my goals”

It’s been truly life-changing. I don’t ban any foods, as that only contributes to poor eating habits and a poor relationship with food. I eat for my goals, and am still able to eat ice cream, cereal, and all of my other favorites almost every single day.

But I didn’t realize that by having simple negative thoughts like the one above, could be so negative. My awareness of that (thanks to my awesome coach) has led to a big change for me. Of course, I’m always a work in progress, but these simple tactics are helping me to truly transform my body AND mind.

Here is my most recent photo taken about a week ago.

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Next week’s will be even better  now that I’m back on my game! 😀

That’s all I’ve got for now…back soon!

-Lizzy

8 Weeks to a Killer Booty

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It almost never fails when I meet women in the gym: everyone wants a nice butt and great legs.

I’ve always been a big fan of leg/glute workouts. There was a running joke at the gym for a long time where everyone basically thought all I did was work my butt and legs.

(Obviously that wasn’t true)

I will admit, though, I LOVE working legs and glutes. Because of this, I’ve experimented a LOT. I’ve learned from the best of the best, and I’ve been practicing for 8 years (officially last month!). As a trainer, I get to experiment with my clients, too! They love (and hate) it. Since I can’t reach all of you, I wanted to put something out there that you could use to build the legs and butt you’ve always wanted.

8 Weeks to a Killer Booty & Gorgeous Legs

The exercises (click on the exercise for a video demonstration):

  1. Deadlifts
  2. Back Squats
  3. Hip Thrusts
  4. Bulgarian Squats

Here’s what to do:

You can do this program for as long as you want, but I’d suggest taking a de-load week every 8-10 weeks (depending on you and what you/your body needs). You’ll work your legs 3 times per week and I would suggest doing upper body 2 times per week. For example, you could perform legs on M/W/F and do upper body on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Choose weights that allow you to perform the recommended reps. If you can get through the set easily, you need to up the weights. If you can’t get to the minimum number of reps, you’ll need to go lighter.

The goal is to increase your weights every week. For example, if on Day 1 of Week 1 you get your deadlifts up to 135lbs, on Day 1 of Week 2 you’ll try to get 140lbs. Do this for each exercise/day.

Day 1:

Deadlifts: Perform 5 sets of 4-6 reps

Back Squats: Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Bulgarian Squats: Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Day 2:

Hip Thrusts: Perform 5 sets of 4-6 reps

Deadlifts: Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Back Squats: Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Day 3:

Back Squats: Perform 5 sets of 4-6 reps

Bulgarian Squats: Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Hip Thrusts: Perform 3 sets of 15-20 reps

You can also add in any of the following at the end of a workout. I recommend picking 2 exercises and doing 2 sets of each for 20-30 reps as a “burn-out”:

Banded Lateral Walks

Banded Hip Abduction

-Banded Duck Walks

45 Hyperextensions (can be done with or without weight)

Swiss Ball Hip Adduction

Kneeling Hip Thrusts

 

As always, check with a doctor before beginning any new exercise program. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below!

 

Workout & Survey

A new month begins!

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Oscar is stoked about it.

This year has flown by, but don’t they all?

Yesterday was a leg day and I’m definitely feeling it today. Here’s what I did:

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  • Deadlifts – 5 sets; finished with 185×6  as my last set
  • Leg Press – 4 sets
  • Bulgarian Squats – 3 sets w/ 25 lb DB’s
  • Swiss Ball Leg Curls – 3 sets
  • Leg Extensions – 3 sets
  • Goblet Squats – 3 sets w/ 50lb DB

This has been my favorite post-workout meal lately. I was really having a hard time choking down a protein shake after my workout, but oddly enough, using LESS almond milk and making it into a “pudding” makes it totally palatable. Funny how that whole texture thing works.

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This or That Survey

I saw this on Lindsay’s blog and had to steal it! Can’t pass up a good survey!

Chocolate or Vanilla?

I think vanilla wins here. I do like chocolate, but usually choose vanilla. I guess it really depends on what it is!

Innie or Outtie?

Outtie

Hot, Hot Summer or Snowy Winter?

Hot summer for sure!!! I don’t do well in the cold at all.

Save or Spend?

I am a saver for sure. I spend money on food and that’s about it.

Elliptical or Treadmill?

Hmm…neither really, but if I had to choose: treadmill.

Banana or Apple?

Applesssss!!!!!! I love pink lady and honeycrisp the best, but jazz is right up there with them.

Morning or Night?

It totally depends. I think night is probably the right answer for me, but at the same time, I do love something about an early, crisp morning.

Love or Money?

Love. But money is also pretty necessary in this world.

Lip Balm or Lipstick?

Lip balm. I almost never wear lipstick. I’m actually not sure I own more than one, and I’ve worn it MAYBE one time.

Butt or Boobs?

Butt for sure. And I’m not just saying that because i have no boobs. Good butts are awesome!

Alone or with others?

Totally depends. Sometimes i’d definitely rather be alone. Other times, i want people around.

Coffee or Tea?

COFFEE.

Straight or Curly?

Curly is more fun…but straight is easier. My hair is wavy and doesn’t like to hold a curl, so this is what I get when I actually try to curl it.

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Three squares or graze all day?

Grazeeeeeee. I love to snack.

Right handed or left handed?

Right, usually. I have some weird things I do totally left-handed and I attribute that to my left-handed father.

Beach or Mountains?

Lake. But if I had to choose? Man, i don’t know. i live close to a beach and don’t go too often. Mountains are really pretty. I’m going to stick with lake.

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Mac or PC?

MAC.

Shy or Outgoing?

Depends. Usually outgoing, but sometimes I get awkwardly shy.

 

Why Is It So Hard to Change?

Why is it so hard to change?

IMG_8563This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

Mainly because after 2 years of “wanting” something, I finally dug in and started DOING it.

As many of you know, I competed in the NPC Bikini division in 2009. I did 2 competitions and then hopped on a roller coaster of disordered eating and a poor relationship with food shortly after.

It took me over 2 years to pull myself out of that hole and learn to love myself again. I literally defined myself by my weight at that point and just felt like such a failure.

When I finally decided that I needed to love myself and move on, it became easier. I was able to make a change for the better, and although it certainly didn’t happen overnight, I pulled myself out of disordered eating and started having a normal relationship with food again.

That was change #1. Even though I had wanted it for 2 years, it wasn’t until I was READY, that I was able to make that change.

Now I sit here today and I’m once again curious about what it was that allowed me to make this change (Operation: Get Lean).

For the last 2 years, having felt that my relationship with food was good and feeling like I had regained control of myself, I decided I wanted to get lean again. I had the best of intentions, but for some reason, could not make it happen. I wasn’t gaining weight or doing anything detrimental, but just simply not allowing myself to eat in a deficit that was needed for fat loss.

So for 2 years, my body stayed relatively the same.

Finally, 6 weeks ago, I was able to turn that corner and start changing. So I’ve spent a lot of time looking into myself and wondering what it was about THIS TIME that was different.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

I was truly ready. While I felt I was ready before, I wasn’t. I wanted to be lean, but I wanted to eat whatever I wanted more.

My life is really hectic lately, and while you may think that would make this harder, it’s made it easier. This is the one thing I feel in control of. It is the one thing that I can do and nobody can stop me.

I needed to fail. This was a big one. In order to really dig in, I needed to fail. I needed to trip up so many damn times that I finally had enough. I needed to recognize that if I continued half-assing it, I would continue getting the same results.

I needed someone tough in my corner. I needed someone who would not take anything less than 100%. Because the people that told me I could get away with 80-90%? I took it to heart and didn’t try as hard. But when you have a coach that literally calls you out when you give anything less than your best? When it is someone you trust and respect? Well you better bet you’re going to push yourself as hard as I can. It’s human nature to want to impress those who you look up to.

What this has really shown me is that anything is possible. It truly reminded me that you can fall 2304823 times and STILL get back up and move forward.

I think that is where a lot of people give up. They’ve tried so many times that they’re embarrassed to even admit that they’re trying again. I was in that position too! Hell, I’m a freaking personal trainer that writes a health and fitness blog. And I couldn’t achieve my own fat loss goals? Talk about feeling embarrassed. My life revolves around this stuff and I couldn’t make it work for myself. I GET YOU.

But I wasn’t ready. I WANTED to be ready, but I wasn’t. And if there is anything you can take away from my experience, it’s that you should never stop trying. I know you hear that ALL THE TIME. But it’s true. Because I did fail A LOT. What I didn’t do, was stop trying. I didn’t even believe in myself when I started this 6 weeks ago. The first 2 weeks I literally felt like at any moment, I would sabotage myself. But I put my willpower into play and just kept going. And now? I feel like me again. I believe in myself again. I KNOW what I’m capable of. I’m still not done yet, and there is still plenty of work to do. There will be much harder times, and I know and expect that. I also know that I can get through it all. I’ve gained that confidence through this process. Nobody can stop me.

If any of this resonates with you, know you’re not alone. And in fact, you’re probably in the majority. If you’re sitting there feeling like a failure. Like you’ve given up and don’t want to try anymore, just keep trying. You may not be ready yet, but eventually you WILL be ready. As long as you don’t give up. Fight the urge to quit. Unless your goals and ideals have changed (in which case, you change your course), you must keep going.

If you’re ever in need of support, I have a great group of people in a private Facebook group and we’re constantly sharing our achievements and struggles. If you’d like to be a part of that group, just send me an e-mail at fitlizzio@gmail.com

Here’s to YOU. YOU can do this, your goals are within reach, just don’t give up.

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