Tag Archive for cardio

THANK YOU, Weekly Workouts, and A Challenge

First of all, THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH for the feedback on my post on How I Quit Cardio.

I’ve had several people even stop me on the streets, at the gym, and via Facebook,  to tell me how much they enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be writing more posts like that in the future. Shoot me a line if there are any heavy topics you’d like me to write about. I’ve been down A LOT of roads in this health and fitness world…. FitLizzio (at) gmail (dot) com

I’m getting pretty good at this disappearing act, aren’t i? I apologize! I’m working my tail off and haven’t been finished with work until midnight on most nights. I just can’t bring myself to write after a 12-15 hour day of work. This won’t always be the case, but it is for now, so I’m going to blog when I can. I’ll try to at least get 1-2 posts per week up, but I’d rather give you guys quality posts and not just throw together a kamikaze post just to get something up.

First of all, I got to hang with this little dude last weekend. He is the coolest baby in the world. He loves to laugh, make jokes, and just be awesome. Love my nephew so much!!

He's so tough.

He’s so tough.

It was so great spending time with my family in AZ last weekend. I can’t wait until I get to go back in a few weeks! I miss them all.

Last week’s workouts:

Monday: 20 Minutes on the Stairmill – High Intensity + Bouldering – Medium Intensity

Tuesday: Full Body Workout – Medium Intensity

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Legs – High Intensity

Friday: Taught Conditioning (more on that below) + Upper Body – Medium Intensity

Saturday: Bouldering – Medium Intensity

Sunday: Legs/Shoulders/Abs – High Intensity

A pretty decent week of workouts! I was definitely pretty sore by Saturday, so I took it easy and just did some bouldering at the rock climbing gym. This was my first week back in 3 weeks, and I definitely noticed. I’m going to try to get back to my 2-3 day/week schedule again.

So I mentioned above that I taught conditioning on Friday. Long story short, an instructor didn’t show up to a class, so I jumped in and taught the conditioning portion of it…….AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!! I have never taught group exercise (just personal training) and it was a total blast. I’m definitely going to see if I can sub in every now and then. I think the people in class love/hated me, too. I’m an evil instructor, but you’ll thank me later! 😉

Here’s my plan for the coming week:

Week of Workouts

Meal Plan:

My friend and I are going to be embarking on a little challenge beginning tomorrow. I’ll be posting the details, our measurements, weight, and progress photos. We both feel like we want to work a bit harder when it comes to our diets, so we’re going in this together.

Stay tuned for more info……you’re welcome to join us!

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’ll be back on Tuesday with the details of our little challenge.

Would you be interested in an online health challenge?

How did you navigate your Father’s Day food choices?


How I Quit Doing Cardio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’d love to hear your stories as well. Feel free to e-mail me if you’d like at [email protected].

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

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


The A.D.D Workout

Is it just me or do other people find that as soon as they step on a treadmill, they suddenly have ADD to an extreme level? I’m not poking fun at anyone that actually has ADD (I am pretty sure I actually do have it), but I know I’m not the only one that feels this way about the revolving sidewalk of death.

Today I had 45 minutes slated on that thing and the patience of a puppy at a dog park. I decided to get creative and have some fun. It tends to keep me from getting bored and pushes me to change things up.

The A.D.D Workout

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Measurements + Cardio Decrease

Hey guys!

Bear with me for the next few weeks. I’m finishing up my finals, while packing my life away for the big move! It’s been pretty busy around here. 😉

I just wanted to talk about a few things. I like cardio and its unlikely that I’ll ever just stop doing it altogether, but I don’t like doing endless cardio every single day. It’s pretty monotonous and I’ve always done it just to stay in good shape.

Lately, I’ve gotten into some ruts with my workouts, as far as the types of workouts I’ve been doing. I LOVE working out, but I do like to change it up so that I can keep enjoying my workouts. Slaving isn’t fun 🙂

-I was bored with lifting weights, so I started doing more running and plyometrics.(burpees, jumping movements, pushups, tire flips etc.)

-It gets HOT in AZ in April, so running hasn’t been as fun. Feeling like you’re going to get heat stroke while pounding the pavement isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. I realize waking up at the crack of dawn is an option, however it’s not one I want to take right now.

Anyways, I missed the iron, and have been lifting pretty regularly again, combined with the plyometrics. Let me just put this on the record: Best workouts I’ve ever gotten.

They are fast, intense, hard, fun, and always keep you guessing. That’s what she…

As far as cardio? Well I’ve still been doing it about 3-4 days a week, but considering I was doing it 6-7 days, it’s a drastic cut for me. I sweat more, breathe harder and get fatigued so much quicker with the workouts I’ve been doing lately and I finally realize how much time I’m wasting on steady state cardio. I’m not saying it’s bad, and I still like it and will continue to do it, but endless hours is just not necessary. In April, I have lost 0.5 inches in each of the following areas: waist(smallest part), butt, upper thighs and lower thighs. I lost an entire inch on my hips! May will be even better 😀

With that said, I will show you one of the workouts I did recently.

Wacky Workout – Go through these exercises without a rest. When you finish all of them, take a 1 minute break and repeat. Do the circuit 3-4 more times depending on your fitness level. (Note: If you can only make it through once, no shame!! It’s a tough circuit.)

10 Ninja Jumps

10 Barbell Walking Lunges(10 per leg)

10 burpees (with push ups)

Heavy bag pull (if you don’t have access to a heavy bag, you can replace this with a sprint…different but will still raise your heart rate)

15 DB bicep curls (per arm)

20 DB overhead tricep extensions

The funny thing is that when I wrote this workout, it looked pretty easy to me. Then I did it. End of story.

Today’s Workout

As I mentioned a few days ago, I’ve really changed my workouts up a bit lately. I haven’t done much formal lifting, but have been incorporating more plyometrics, pushups, compound movements and metabolic training into my life. Weights are still being lifted, but at a much faster rate! It’s fun and I’m at a point in my fitness journey that makes me want to just get in ridiculously good all-around shape. I’m just not feeling the heavy lifting right now, but I know the bug will come back eventually. It always does 🙂

So I thought I’d give you a taste of my workout today. As always, know your limits and check with a doctor before you try anything new. What works for me may not work for you.

I started out with 15 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill. Then I moved to a different area of the gym to get my fitness on.

I did timed intervals of the following exercises(1 minute of each), with a jog to the stairs, up and down, and back to the starting point in between exercises. A 25 lb barbell was used for most exercises.


-Step ups

-Bench press

-tricep extensions

-Bicep curls

-Bent over rows

-Shoulder press

-calf raises

I think thats it? It’s hard to remember. Anyways, i did about 3 sets of each exercise for about a minute straight and probably threw in about 5-6 jogs to the stairs with a sprint up and down the stairs. Next time I will do my best to remember accurately!! 😀

Well, tomorrow is the rehearsal dinner and the wedding is Saturday!! You probably won’t hear from me until Sunday or Monday, but i hope everyone has a great weekend! I’m off to bed so I can squeeze a workout in before the fun begins!

5 Weeks Out

So I’m pretty sure that nobody reads this anymore 😀 Sorry for being such a slacker but I just haven’t had much time for blogging these days.


I’m literally in the gym all day long. As you know I work there, as well as work out there, so if I’m not working out, I’m usually working. My cardio is…well…a lot right now. I don’t want to get into too much detail because it isn’t something that I would ever have a client do. I’m borderline behind schedule and need to make sure I’m ready for the show. I am not taking on more than I can handle, workout wise, but it is definitely rigorous training. I am thankful that my body keeps up with me 🙂

My diet is very strict right now as well, but I’m feeling good. I truly like training hard and dieting hard (although I’m definitely looking forward to eating a bit more variety after the show ;-)). I feel extremely accomplished knowing that I’m putting in all the effort that I can.

Stress levels are high right now for other reasons. Lots of things going on in July, lots of things going on in my head, and lots of things that cost money and take a lot of time. I don’t have much of either to spare, so I’m trying to work it all out.

I’m hangin’ in there and only 5 weeks to go! Hoping my body does what it needs to do 🙂 I’ll post some pictures here sometime soon when I get a chance, too.

Friday and Saturday

Grab some popcorn and put on your snuggie. This is a long one 🙂

Orange you glad it’s friday??? (I’m an idiot, it’s actually Saturday. My brain is a little fuzzy from boxing just now…fyi, just wrote “luttle” …this should be a good post……..)

Thursday night I got a whopping 4.5 hours of sleep. I should have gotten at least an extra hour, but since I am such a baby genius, when I woke up before my alarm, I assumed it would be going off shortly and proceeded to get ready. I got ready, started mixing up my protein shake (1 scoop protein, ice, water, 1/4 c. egg whites, and 1/4 tsp xanthan gum) and decided to look at the clock. 3:30am. Lovely.

Friday’s Workout

I headed to the gym for my Friday Yoga class. It was a really good class, and so far it hasn’t disappointed me. I’ve never been a huge fan of yoga, but I am starting to realize maybe I just hadn’t(how weird of a word is “hadn’t”?!) been going to good enough classes. I am really enjoying it. I also think doing it early in the morning when I’m still somewhat tired, helps to open me up and energize me for the day. I still want to try hot(bikram) yoga, but that post is for a different day.

After yoga, I hit up the cardio room for some, you guessed it: shmardio. I was feeling antsy and decided to try out a few of the new machines. Our gym got new free motion ellipticals. They are extremely…weird? Whatever motion you move, they move that motion and add resistance. If you want to mimic running, it does that. If you want to mimic stair stepping, it does that too. It is weird, and I think I like it, but I’m not sure. I’ll be honest, I think ellipticals are for light cardio. I am definitely not saying that you can’t get a good cardio sesh out of an elliptical, but I just think that more traditional forms of cardio challenge me more. Running, stair mill, sprints, boxing, and most things that mimic “real life” things seem to get my heart rate up much more. Maybe I just suck at ellipticizecycling. That’s very possible.I’m not knocking the elliptical, it’s just not for me. However, on days when I’m sore or just want to do a light session, ellipticals are a great thing for that for me. Remember, everyone is different and different things work better for different people. End rant haha.

So anyways, after I tried out the free motion machine, I hopped on the treadmill for some incline walking to finish out my 45 minutes. Shweaty mess success.

I headed to the other gym afterwards for a Chest workout. When I work my chest out, I try to keep my heart rate up and do high reps. I have no desire to build my chest muscles up, but they still need to be worked. If you want to be a conditioned person, you have to condition all of your muscles, even the ones you hate to work 😉

My Chest workout consisted of 4 sets of 3 compound sets(2 back to back exercises that challenge the same muscle groups):

-DB Incline Press/ Wide Grip Incline Pushups

-Close Grip EZ Bar Flat Bench Press/ CG Incline Pushups

-Cable Flys(neutral)/ Wide Grip Pushups on the floor

I totalled 108 pushups in that workout, and I’m feeling it today. I’m not sore, but my arms are fatigued.


This morning, I woke up and headed to boot camp! I haven’ t been in a whole month. I have been out of town and working at various events, so I was excited to get back. We did 2 sets of a circuit:

-Bleacher steps(run up the steps, down, up down, and around the back of the bleachers)

-Parachute sprints

-Sled pulls

-Sand Bag Squats

-Kettle bell swings


-Frog Leaps


-Mini Hurdles

It was a quick workout(about 40 ish minutes) but definitely a good one. I was feeling it immediately afterwards.

I went to abs class afterwards because I had to work at the gym anyways, so why not? It was a tough one, and my abs were on fiyah! Not to mention, I rarely work my abs. Abs are made in the kitchen and through almost every other exercise you do. No reason to do overkill on the abs unless your looking to bring out a certain area more.

I finished my workouts for the day with a half hour of boxing with a trainer here. It was good and my arms are now shaky and I have that nauscious (i just spent a whole minute trying different ways to spell that word. I give up.)  feeling. It’s not a bad feeling, it’s the feeling of working out hard as hizzle. I dig.

Other bolog-na that you may/may not care about. I’ll guess the latter.

-Eating has been good, and I’m feeling that competition fire burning. Meaning, I WANT TO COMPETE BADLYYYY. That’s good, I need that fire to fuel me through this leaning out process. Here’s to keeping that feeling and not sabotaging myself(which I’ve been known to do. Who knows why?! But I’m kicking that negativity out the door.)

-Next Saturday is the first Pro Show in Arizona! I’m excited. A few people from my gym are competing in it, and I’ve never been to a pro show. It’s going to be really cool to see a show full of elite athletes. Can’t wait!

-I’ve had such a bad taste about bikini lately. Don’t get me wrong, I like competing in bikini and I want to stay in bikini. I thought I wanted to compete in figure, but I just don’t think I do anymore. I like to be small, long, lean and very toned. That is my ideal. However, I am so sick of people, pardon my french, but “slutting it up”on stage! Bikini division means that you are an athlete who has a symmetrical, toned physique, but you just aren’t “cut and striated” like a figure competitor. What is with all of these girls sticking their asses out, trying to flirt with the judges on stage, and basically acting like strippers?! That is NOT what this sport is about, and I don’t like the reputation that the bikini division is getting. I wish these girls would pretend they were doing a model walk for their dads. Then maybe, they wouldn’t come off as a sex kitten. Okay, I’m done. Just wanted to get that out there.

Tonight is my sisters birthday and we’re going out. I haven’t been out in a few weeks, so I’m looking forward to it. My good friend is also coming in town next weekend and I can’t wait! I haven’t seen him since he’s been home from Iraq. Good stuff coming up, I’m going to keep riding this high 🙂