Tag Archive for heavy lifting

Good & Bad

Wow, this week has flown by! I feel like I say that a lot. It’s been a mixture of good and bad.


I finally sucked it up and started squatting with low bar. This means the barbell sits lower on your shoulders than a normal squat. It feels SUPER awkward, but it distributes the weight throughout your body better and usually makes it easier to squat heavier. Getting past the awkward feeling is by far the hardest part, but once you do, the results are awesome. I squatted 160 lbs for 3 reps the other day, whereas when I did normal squats last week, my 1 rep max was 165. I am really excited to see what my 1 rep max is with a low bar squat.

Here’s the difference between normal bar and low bar:

back-pain-high-bar-vs-low-bar-squatsPhoto Credit


I haven’t gotten much sleep this week and consequently have been a little grumpy. It’s amazing what a lack of sleep can do to you. I’m doing a photo shoot on Saturday (see below), but plan on fully taking advantage of my first free day in WEEKS. Not that I’m complaining, as it has been a fun past few weeks/weekends, but I literally haven’t had a day to myself in over 3 weeks. I need it.


I’m working with a fellow FitFluential Ambassador this weekend and will be demoing a bunch of exercises for a new iPhone app that is coming out! It looks really cool, so I will definitely spread the word when it’s out! You’ll see my familiar face/body in the entire exercise glossary! 😀

Only a few days left to get my FREE 10 Day Sexy SlimdownDownload here:  http://FitLizzio.com/sexyslimdown Whether you're looking to get back on track or just need a little boost/challenge to help you break through a plateau, this is for you! This FREE eBook includes: 10 Days of Workouts10 Day Meal Plan Full Grocery ListFull Exercise Demo LibraryBad

I don’t recommend walking 19 miles in a matter of 2.5 days. It’s not a huge deal, but I hurt something in my foot last weekend and it’s just been an annoyance. I’m still able to walk, run, jump, etc. but it’s just a naggy little thing that is bothering me. I’m hoping a little R&R this weekend will heal me.


I love my best friend. I know this is cheesy, but this little guy makes me so happy! I love watching him goof around, play with other dogs, and just be a light in the room. I’m lucky to have this mutt!

Oscar is my hero.

In other news, I’ve been really digging my workouts as of late. I’ve been mostly focusing on getting stronger and throwing a little HIIT in between. Here’s what my workouts looked like this week:

Sunday: HIIT – 20 minutes

Monday: Legs (colored pairs indicate supersets)

  • Hip Thrusts: 185 x 12 (3 sets)
  • Banded Hip Abduction: black band x 30 (3 sets)
  • Leg Extensions: 70×15, 90×12, 90×12
  • Supinated Hamstring Curls: 50×15 (3 sets)
  • Box Jumps: 24 in. x 10 (2 sets)
  • DB Step Ups: 22.5 x 10 (2 sets)
  • Burpees: 10 reps (3 sets)

Tuesday: Shoulders + HIIT – 20 minutes

Wednesday: Full Body (Heavy Squats, Heavy Hip Thrusts, Back Extensions, Banded Lateral Walks, Incline Press, Chin Ups, Hanging Leg Raises)

Thursday: 15 min. Cardio to warm up, then a high rep, light weight full body workout including Leg Extensions, Supinated Hamstring Curls, DB Squat to Press, Rear Delt Raises, and Underhand Barbell Rows

Friday: REST

Saturday: Exercise Demos 🙂

Question of the Day:

1. What is 1 good thing and 1 bad thing that happened this week?

Muscles, Flexing, and a Kettle Bell Workout!

Good morning! Happy Thursday!

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

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

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

Monday: 20 min. HIIT & Shoulders/Triceps

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

Have a great rest of your day folks!

Question of the day:

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



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?


My Weekend and Workouts to Try!


Good morning friends! Here’s to a great and productive week!

I had a pretty great weekend. It was a mix of work/relaxation, but that was just what needed to happen. I have a lot on my plate and sometimes taking a Saturday to get some work done makes me much less stressed out. I have a hard time taking a break when there is SO much to do. Hoping this lightens my week a bit.

Even still, I was able to get a lot of work done and STILL just relax.

Listen to this! Friday night, as we were driving home from our friend’s house, we saw this:


This was a CRAZY fire with tons of explosions. I was freaking out. They finally got it under control, but holy cow it was massive! That is definitely the biggest fire I’ve ever seen. I have a new respect for fire fighters for SURE. I was about a 1/2 mile away from this and it was scary even from afar. I can’t imagine having to go right into it! Thankfully, I don’t think anyone was hurt.


Last week’s workouts: 

Wednesday: Since Tuesday was spent filming, I took it a bit easy on Wednesday. I walked on the treadmill for about 20 minutes just to shake my muscles out. I was pretty sore and tired, but it felt good to move a little bit. Sneak peek below!

push up

Thursday: I was planning to take a boxing class, but things changed and I ended up just doing a full body workout. I felt REALLY GOOD in this workout. I ended up doing supersets of the following:

-Deadlifts & Chin Ups (4 supersets and 1 extra set of deadlifts)

-DB Shoulder Press & KB Swings (3 supersets)

-DB Step Ups & Jumping Step Ups (one leg at a time, meaning I did 15 DB step ups and went right into 15 Jumping step ups before moving on to my other leg. It is definitely a leg BURNER) (2 supersets)

Friday: Crossfit- We’re prepping to do Murph at the end of the month, so the workout we did was geared towards working up to that. We did:

20 min. AMRAP

400m Run

10 Pull Ups

20 Push Ups

30 Squats

I made it through 2 rounds and 5 additional pull ups. Killer!!!

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Chest & Legs w/ Charlie

We did:

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 reps

KB Goblet Squats

KB Swings

Barbell Bench Press

It was a great workout and took us exactly 32 minutes!

Fitness Plan for May 5 – May 11

Today: Bouldering + HIIT

Tuesday: Boxing

Wednesday: Full Body Heavy Lift

Thursday: Bouldering

Friday: Filming Workouts again…

Saturday: REST

Sunday: Hike

As always, that’s the plan, but we will see how the week goes!

When it comes to fitness, what do you consider yourself?

Beginner? Moderate Fitness? Fitness Freak? Athlete?

I train with the mindset of an athlete, but in reality, I’m probably at a moderate to advanced fitness level. I know this, but keeping the athlete mindset definitely helps me push myself.  




Weekend Workouts and Fun

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


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

Sand Sister's Girls Having a Blast in the Studio

Sand Sister’s Girls Having a Blast in the Studio

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

Temescal Ridge Trail


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


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

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

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

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

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

Question of the Day:

Have you hit any new PR’s lately? 

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

Fitness Plan for the Week 2/17-2/23

Hope you’re all having a lovely morning! If you’re taking a break from work today, I hope you’re not reading this just yet and you’re out enjoying your day! If today is a work-day for you, sit, stay a while, plan your week out with me!!

As you all know, I love to take my Sunday nights to plan out my fitness for the week.


There are a few reasons for this:

1. It lets me know how I need to plan my day (i.e. a Heavy Lift is going to take much longer than a WOD or HIIT)

2. It gives me a focus and gets me excited for the workouts! Mental preparation is important!

3. It gives me a chance to program for the week so that I can fit it all in!

With that said, I’m back into CrossFit this week (took a few weeks off) and I have a feeling I’ll be pretty sore by the end of the week!

Fitness Plan for the Week

Monday: 15 min. HIIT + Heavy Lift + Rock Climb (indoor)

Tuesday: 15 min. HIIT + Metabolic Workout

Wednesday: CrossFit + Rock Climb

Thursday: 15 min. HIIT + Heavy Lift

Friday: 15 min. HIIT + Climb

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: Hike

This is only tentative, and I definitely go by how I feel. If I’m super sore from CrossFit Wednesday, there’s a good chance my heavy lift will get moved to Friday. I listen to my body and there’s no use doing a workout just because it’s on the schedule if it doesn’t feel good.

Questions for the day:

What’s on your fitness plan this week? Try anything new this month?

Weekend Things

We made it people. It’s Friday, and the weekend starts….NOW. Well, not really for me. I have to work a bit this weekend, but I like what I do, so it’s not all that bad. I started my day with this new-to-me flavor of Fage. I’m a fan!!



Yesterday’s workout was a heavy lift with some plyometrics sprinkled in. The plyometrics were an after-thought, but I’m glad I did them. The workout ended up being pretty tough, but fun.

Superset #1 – 4 Sets

Barbell Squats: 75 x 15, 95 x 10, 105 x 8, 115 x 6

Squat Jumps: bw x 10, bw x 10, bw x 10, bw x 10 

Superset #2 – 3 Sets

T-Bar Row: 35 x 12, 35 x 12, 45 x 8

Chin Ups: bw x 2, bw x 2, bw x 2

Then: (done separately)

Dumbbell Reverse Lunges: 15 x 15, 20 x 10, 25 x 8, 30 x 6

Barbell Bench Press: 65 x 12, 65 x 12, 65 x 12, 65 x 12

It was a great workout and I’m definitely sore today! It feels good. I’m working on squatting heavier. Squats are my weakest leg lift. My guru and very first personal trainer, Bret Contreras, told me that since I have long femurs, it’s very common to be able to do heavy deadlifts and hip thrusts but be weaker on squats. Just have to keep working at it!

Last night I made my favorite Chicken dish. I finally took some photos of the process too! Sorry for the crappy iPhone photos. Someday I’ll use the real big-boy camera and take some better ones.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with how I combat boredom at the airport…..:-D

Practicing Yoga...err something..

Practicing Yoga…err something..

In case you were wondering...

In case you were wondering…

I’m a child.

1. What is your favorite exercise?

2. Where is your favorite place to travel?