My Favourite Forms of Cardio

If you spend hours on the elliptical then I’m sorry but you’re doing it wrong, unless you have bad knees or you’re training to be a gazelle. When I first started at the gym I always went on the elliptical because well, it was easy. Now I pretty much despise any cardio that involves a machine (although I use treadmills in the winter because I live in Canada and well snow).

Here are a few of my favourite forms of cardio (this doesn’t mean I love cardio, I still hate it):

  1. Skipping – this shit will get your heart rate up in a hurry. Try skipping in intervals and then when you get really good at it try double unders.
  2. Burpees – pretty much the worst exercise known to man but burpees are effective. Use burpees as a finisher to fully destroy you after a workout.
  3. Jump Squats – these will help perk up your butt and that’s pretty much all the reason I need to do them. Add jump squats into your warm up and your body will be warm in no time.
  4. Running – get outside and run like hell (unless there’s snow on the ground).
  5. Rowing – yes it’s a machine but it’s f*cking hard. Add rowing into your normal gym routine, you’ll hate it so much you’ll love it

Add one (or more) of these moves to your regular routine and you’ll feel your heart rate increase and the sweat pour out of your body.

 

Let’s Talk About Carbs

Whenever I hear someone say “carbs are bad for you” I want to punch them. I’m not a violent person but when it comes to people speaking ill of carbohydrates I go full Terminator. Some people act like carbs are the devil and I honestly can’t handle it. Carbs are not bad, carbs will not murder your family so take a seat. If you eat pasta at every meal, then yeah you’re probably not going to lose weight. If you eat the right kind of carbs you can still lose weight and be happy because carbs = happiness. I’ll give you an example, a few months ago I did a whole30 reset and I ate potatoes (sweet and regular) pretty much everyday and I still lost 14 lbs. I was able to lose weight because I was eating only whole foods and exercising regularly, the potatoes I ate gave me the energy I needed to get through a day of work and to get through a workout.

When choosing what carbs to eat look for whole grain or whole food alternative, if it comes from nature, chances are it’s good for you, unless it’s poisonous berries, don’t eat those. Try and eat carbs in as close to their natural state as possible, simply put potato chips are not a healthy choice.

Good Carbs: starchy vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, fruits,  greens.

Bad Carbs: soda, sugary cereals, white pasta, highly processed carbs etc.

There are some popular “diets” that promote low carb plans, but they’re just a quick fix, neglecting carbs in the long term is honestly not sustainable #sorrynotsorry. Some long term affects of low carb diets include weight gain, kidney problems, bowel problems, high cholesterol and the list goes on.

Reasons you should put some carbs in your mouth:

  1. Carbs fill you up – the body digests carbs at a slower rate then protein or fat, which leaves you feeling fuller longer.
  2. Increase Athletic Performance – Wanna be better? faster? stronger? eat some f*cking carbs. The body breaks down sugars in carbohydrates to fuel the body, it’s that simple.
  3. More Food Freedom – you can eat a wider variety of foods and don’t have to feel limited.
  4. Brain Health – people who eat carbs tend to have better memories than those who don’t.
  5. Heart Health – people who eat carbs tend to have lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher HDL (good) cholesterol.

Don’t eat a certain way because it’s trendy, eat in moderation, watch your portion sizes and stop hating on carbs.

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Source: Giphy

Thoughts While Watching Fittest on Earth: A Decade of Fitness

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Image via Google Images

 

I’m a little late to the party but Fittest on Earth: A Decade of Fitness (aka the GREATEST documentary of all time) just came onto Netflix and MY LIFE HAS BEEN CHANGED. I have been watching the Crossfit games for years and my god I love any and all documentaries about it. When the games come on I live stream it wherever I am, I have even taken time off work to watch the games. I have watched Fittest on Earth over 20 times, and I am now onto my third time watching  Fittest on Earth: A Decade of Fitness (I am currently watching it because I LOVE IT).

Here are my thoughts while watching the greatest documentary of all time, seriously someone give them an oscar.

  1. Dave Castro is so extra, I love it.
  2. Wow, I’m shit at everything.
  3. Sara Sigmundsdottir is my Spirit Animal.
  4. I hope no one dies.
  5. Watching the guys work out is better than both Magic Mike movies combined.
  6. I wish I was Icelandic.
  7. I need to workout like ASAP.
  8. I want to hang out with all of these athletes.
  9. Katrin’s eyebrows are everything.
  10. My motivation is through the roof right now.

The 2017 Crossfit Games are in a couple weeks and I AM SO EXCITED. I’m hoping Sara Sigmundsdottir wins for the women this year, who are you cheering for?

Thoughts I’ve had While Doing CrossFit

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Image via scrubbing.in

I recently started attending a beginner CrossFit bootcamp. I’m now able to understand what all the hype is about. The best part of walking into a CrossFit class is that you don’t have to think about a workout, you just walk in and get your ass handed to you, it I walk into every class with excitement and a little fear. Despite how tough a workout may be, and how much I may hate in the moment, I can’t wait to do it again as soon as the workout is over. I’ve made a list of my most common thoughts (sometimes I say them out loud) during a WOD.

1. “AMRAP 8 min, so easy” – By minute 4 *wheezing* “Is it over yet!!?”

2. “I hope this makes my butt bigger” – every exercise.

3. “F*ck burpees”

4. “Maybe I’ll just play dead during this WOD”

5. “I love wall balls”

6. “F*ck wall balls”

7. “Why do I pay to be tortured like this?”

8. “Where’s my inhaler?”

9. ” I wonder if Beyoncé does Crossfit”

10. “I hope I have abs after this”

 

 

The Burpee

I avoid burpees like the plague. I am a naturally uncoordinated person so burpees have always been a challenge for me. When I was at my heaviest weight, burpees were extremely awful, I hated the feeling of my body jiggling and my boobs flailing around (even while wearing two sports bras). I know burpees are a fantastic full body exercise and should be incorporated in someone’s workout plan, but I was scarred and embarrassed by my lack of skill with the burpee that I avoided them and avoided making my clients do them.

The other night after avoiding burpees since the beginning of my fitness journey, I was faced with them, 36 of them to be exact. The workout was as follows:

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Thrusters are awful, burpees are awful but I loved every minute of the workout. To my surprise my burpees have improved a lot, I could actually jump my feet to my hands. This may seem small but to me this is a huge accomplishment, in my previous attempts at burpees I could never jump my feet up, I always had to do one foot at a time. My boobs were still flailing and my body jiggled but I was ok with it, we all jiggle and flail when we workout, it’s normal. Safe to say that I am going to be adding burpees into my routine and you should too, especially if you hate them. The things we aren’t good at or the the things we dislike are the things that help us improve the most, this applies to anything but is especially true in a fitness journey.

 

 

Back to Basics 

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Recently I’ve been looking for something to change up my normal routine, so I decided to give CrossFit a try. Last night was my first night as a crossfitter (I probably shouldn’t call myself that yet). The class I’m taking is for beginners, in last nights class they taught the basics of squats, push ups and rows. Although I know how to do these movements I learned a very easy way to teach someone how to do these movements, which I will definitely be using in my own practice.

The class started with some warm up exercises one of which was the inch worm. Last night was the night I learned that I hate inch worms. The inch worm looks easy and I think that’s why I hate it so much. My coordination has improved immensely since I started taking working out seriously, I used to fall down the stairs at least once a week and trip over air daily (I always landed gracefully though). The inch worm was a serious test of coordination for me, a test that I failed. Hopefully by week 6 I’ll have this basic movement down pat.

The majority of the first class was spent learning the movements, the last 20 minutes was the official workout. The workout last night looked and sounded easy.

WOD :

200m row

3 rounds (no break), 12 reps of:

Squats

Push Ups

Rows

The workout was very deceiving, by the end of the workout my lungs were burning and my legs were shaking like actual Jell-O. Saying my body is sore today would be an understatement. The workout last night is proof that even the most basic of movements can destroy a person. CrossFit gives you the kind of workout that you hate while you do it, but can’t wait to do again when you finish.

I’m actually really looking forward to all the battle wounds that are coming my way in the next 6 weeks. I’m also hoping I put some more inches on my butt, I’ll keep you all updated on my booty progress.

Train like a bro

tumblr_ksczlyqbeu1qzx4k0o1_500It doesn’t make you a douche if you train like a bro. I recently started training “bro” style and I am seeing a lot of good definition coming in, especially on my arms and back. I avoided training bro style because I worked with a trainer who would ridicule everyone for training like a bro. This trainer would call other trainers and gym goers stupid and tell them that their workouts were shit. I realized later that this trainer was just an opinionated asshat, and yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not when you put others down. If you’re not sure what I mean when I say “Bro”, it simply means splitting workouts up based on body part (i.e. Chest day, Back day, shoulder day etc..). Training this way isn’t stupid, it just means you’re putting your body through a build phase and you want to change the look of your physique. I don’t believe in training one style permanently because your body will reach a plateau eventually. Cycling your body through a few different phases will get you results. These are the four phases most trainers follow:

1.Foundation
This is where you correct your movement patterns, mobility issues and injuries. For people who are just starting out, this is where you learn the 6 Primal Movements (Push, Pull, Bend, Lunge, Squat and Twist).

2. Build
This is considered the bro phase, your focus is to build lean muscle. The more muscle you have on your body the more calories you burn.

3. Burn
This is a phase filled with high repetition circuit training, this phase’s purpose is to burn fat to reveal your lean “bro” muscle.

4. Strength
This phase will exhaust you and make you feel amazing all at the same time. In a strength phase you’re aiming for heavy weight and low rep.

The length of each phase is based off of what your goals/timeline is. For example if you’re an athlete or you want to train like one you might spend less time in a build and more time in burn and strength, focusing on explosive movements. If you are a body builder you will spend a lot more time in a build phase.

Everyone has a different opinion on Crossfit but I think we can all agree that they are some of the best athletes out there. Their workouts are focused around primal movements and olympic lifts, they also do an amazing job at putting in burn type cardio. If you’ve ever watched the Crossfit games you’ll know that all their workouts are very different and challenging, sometimes it involves high rep with lower weight, sometimes it’s about lifting as heavy as possible and sometimes they run/row until they throw up. Crossfit athletes are skilled in every aspect of fitness, they know how to constantly challenge their bodies and even they sometimes train like a bro.