Tag Archive for workouts

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.

Taking On Too Much + Yesterday’s Workout

Well, it sure has been a while since I’ve posted anything! It happens. I’m hoping to be able to pop in here 1-2x per week going forward. I have a lot to share and in addition to being a resource, I like to have an outlet to write in!

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(heyyyy! still flexin’ my life away)

Taking On Too Much

Something that I’ve been doing lately (besides working out of course ;-)) involves a whole crap-ton of introspection. Looking in to all that encompasses ME and figuring out what pieces are essential, and what pieces are just taking up space. (I sound so yoga-y, but I promise I’m not all meditative-hippie-sage burning….not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m just not even close haha)

While I’m generally a happy person, I’ve found that I also take on things that are there for no other reason then, THEY ARE THERE.

This can be good at times, but can also leave me really overwhelmed. It becomes a vicious cycle that looks a bit like this:

-Take on too many projects

-Not able to fulfill all projects (so someone gets delayed, cancelled, etc)

-I feel guilty because I’m not fulfilling all of everyone else’s needs

-I simultaneously feel that I am not fulfilling MY OWN needs because I’m busy trying to fill everyone else’s.

Does that sound familiar to anyone else? I know I’m not the only one, I’m just not sure it’s talked about much. 

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(yup, still flexing)

I’m beyond blessed to be given so many great opportunities. I’m currently training clients at 2 gyms, teaching classes at 3 gyms, training myself, training my online clients (you can go here for more info about it), and working full-time doing sales/marketing/admin/everything-in-between for my main job. Did I mention I’m also studying for my CSCS? On top of that, I have two different companies that have approached me in the last week to help them with their own email marketing. Once again…GREAT opportunities and I’m not complaining about that…but I am definitely in a predicament of sorts.

It leaves me with VERY little time to rest. The time I do have to rest, I end up trying to spend doing fun things because I don’t want to miss out on doing fun things just because I’m busy.

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(like wakeboarding and hiking!!!! no way i’m missing out on that!)

Do you see how this isn’t at all sustainable in the long-term?

But the question becomes, what do I give up? What is most important to keep?

I think this is something that everyone goes through at some point in their lives (and likely, multiple times), but it’s been very present for me lately and I am determined to truly figure out what I WANT and not just do things because others want me to do them.

I attended the Fitness Summit at the end of April in Kansas City (you can see my full review HERE), and I remember Alan Aragon making a comment about this very thing. He said that at some point, you’re going to have to learn to say no. To turn down opportunities, and to only go after the things that will be the most fulfilling.

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(Alan is the man! you are too Bret! ;-))

It’s a HARD thing to do when you actually like 90% of everything that you do.

Who do I say no to? Who do I turn down?

I’m still not sure what that answer is, but I risk a 2nd burnout if I don’t figure it out soon. (I had a similar burnout 2 years ago).

Unfortunately, I don’t have all of the answers just yet. And you may not either if this is something you relate to, but I think it’s still important to talk about it. To bring up the issue and connect with others who are in similar situations.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you want to chat! (email: fitlizzio@gmail.com)

Workouts

Ah, the very thing that started this blog in 2008!!! Yep, it’s been 8 years that I’ve had this dang thing. It’s had plenty of time where nothing was being posted, but it is still a very important blog to me and has YEARS worth of content. Old posts actually embarrass me, but I figure that it highlights a certain time in my life so WHATEVS, I won’t delete them.

In training news, I’ve been continuing to train as a powerlifter with the addition of some other exercises that I incorporate because I like them such as box jumps, various bodybuilding movements, and extra glute work (duh).

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Yesterday’s workout was:

Hip Thrusts

275×13, 305×10, 135 + knee band x 5-5-5-5 (5 reps + 5 second hold x 4)

Back Squats

165 x alt. 1, 2 reps for 10 sets

Deadlifts

175 x alt 2, 3 reps for 10 sets

KB Swings

70 x alt 10, 12 reps for 10 sets

This KICKED MY ASS. Not every day is this crazy, but this is just how it went down yesterday. Today I took it easier and did chin ups, deficit reverse lunges, and single leg leg press. Once upon a time (like up until 6 months ago), I used to try to go balls to the wall EVERY DAY. I’ve since gotten better at balancing the super hard days with less intense onces. Only took me like 8 years haha. (“FINALLY!!!” said every coach I’ve ever had).

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Speaking of that……this August marks 10 YEARS since I started working out. To some, that may seem like nothing, but it is a big milestone for me. I’ve been through SO MUCH in those 10 years and I fully plan to put out a picture-filled post that highlights the ups and downs and everything in between in the last 10 years.

That’s all I’ve got for today. I’ll be popping in again soon.

Keep up the training!

-Lizzy

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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

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).”

TO

“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

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.

Life is a Bumpy Road

Good morning!

Hope you’re all having a great start to your day.

How I feel after my workouts.

How I feel after my workouts.

Life Stuff

I’ve always said I’d be truly honest in my posts, and today is no different.

Life is a bumpy road, that’s for sure.

In all honesty, I’ve been in quite a funk lately.

My workouts have been AMAZING

My Operation: Get Lean has been on-par

But other areas of my life have been rough.

I suppose part of it is that I’m in my late 20’s…

and from what I hear..this is what late 20’s people do.

We question life, question ourselves,

question our mission, our direction.

We.question.everything.

  • Is this where I should be living?
  • Is this the job I should be doing?
  • Am I going after my passion?
  • Am I doing enough?
  • Am I doing too much?

And at this point, I still don’t have an answer to any of that.

So I’ve been doing what I KNOW how to do.

Working hard in the gym, and sticking to my personal goals.

Workout Stuff

Okay, enough of the negatives, how about some positives!

-I hit a new PR for DB Push Press: 10 reps w/ 35lb DB’s

IMG_9995-I’ve been working hard on perfecting my deadlift form, and it’s paying off!

IMG_9996-I can see my quads through my pants

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what? you don’t lay on your couch flexing your quads and take photos??

Online Training

I’ve got three awesome people who embarked on a fat loss journey with me this past Monday. They are super stoked and I am too! They’re all tracking their progress, so I’ll be sure to share their results when they finish up the first stage (1 month). (If you’re interested in the next start date, go here)

Food Stuff

I’m going to document an entire day of eats tomorrow since I’ve had many people ask me about it. Stay tuned for that!

My favorite foods this week have been peaches, strawberries, shrimp, and avocado! I also still love my nighttime protein pancake with peanut butter drizzled on top. It’s definitely a great way to end the day!

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Question of the Day

  1. Have you ever felt a bit lost in life? Any tips? Haha
  2. What have you done well this week in regards to fitness?
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