Life Beyond the Squat

I am totally at a crossroads here. I love squats. I love them so much that I find myself looking for any excuse to substitute a squat into whatever I’m doing. Jumping jacks? Perfect opportunity for a baby pulse squat in between. Sprints? Definitely tacking on 10 speed squats at every turn around. Brushing my teeth? Prime time for some quick pre bedtime squats. Driving?…ha just kidding!

But you know what I don’t like? The world acting like squats are the end all be all for women in their workouts.

Basically it’s all just getting a little excessive and I am pretty sure I’m not the only one wrapped up in the quest for the perfect backside curve, or perfect squat form. This was evident by the line of 10 girls eagerly squatting into the mirror at the gym yesterday willing the perfect booty to magically show. When did squats go from being a staple total body move to a cultish world of big booty gals breaking laws of physics through hugely toned behinds while thousands of instagramers double tap in awe?

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It all reminds me of those hilarious/utterly disturbing pictures of guys skipping leg days and obviously working every muscle group besides legs 364 days a year. Makes ya do a double take in the worst way. Your workout routine is all about balance yet all I hear as a female on social media and in the gym is that squatting will solve all of my problems. It’s like the kale and avocado craze consuming health buffs around the world. Squatting has always been there yet now people think they should be doing it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Suddenly you are a fitness super star if 95% of your workout is spent squatting.

On the other hand it is an inarguable FACT that squatting is one of the most, if not THE most, functional body weight exercises around. Working over 200 muscles in the body there is no doubt this move is something everyone needs to practice. They burn tons of calories per rep, allow you to survive beach season, and most importantly cultivate a killer foundation of strength for active movements.

Luckily for anyone feeling consumed by squat madness there are numerous alternatives. Been squatting life away for the past year? Change it up try an upper body routine. Make squatting just a portion instead of the entire workout.

Check out my original post here from some awesome alternatives from Share it FItness

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The Skinny Confidential’s Lauryn Evarts on Healthy Basics

If you haven’t heard of the Skinny Confidential until now…you’re welcome. Chances are though you already have because Skinny Conf. founder, health & fitness guru, and author Lauryn Evarts is quite literally taking over. Seriously if I ever need to see something sickeningly adorable she’s my girl. As if her gorgeous self wasn’t inspiration enough, she makes the idea of eating blended vegetables actually sound like fun on the daily. **I’m talkin inspiration down to the lemons in the teal bowl. See below.**

She is known to give a very real opinion on health and how to actually make it a lifestyle, as opposed to just posting glamour shots of fitness crazies covered in sweat. Lauryn’s brand, The Skinny Confidential, is such a fresh take on the drab info we keep hearing on the same old subjects and with the recent publishing of her first book, it’s safe to say this girl knows her stuff. None of that Dr. OZ mumbo-jumbo here. Read more for the essentials to making your health not only a priority, but a lifestyle. Because we all want success in health, love, and life. Thanks for your feedback Lauryn!

Lauryn Evarts

What’s your foundation whether in business, fitness, or general health?

My foundation is balance. Balance is what keeps me sane and motivated. I also utilize The Skinny Confidential as a place to connect with my readers, and hear what they want to know.

The most important quality you value in yourself from when it all started to today?

The most important quality I value in myself today is self-discipline. I feel like with discipline comes opportunity. Lauryn-Evarts-Zella-1

Worst thing someone can do for their health?

Smoke, not wear sun screen and/or eat chemical filled food….eww to all of these.

Your take on being sick/injured and working out?

I think you should tailor your workout to the ailment that you have. If you broke your arm, then do squats. If you injured your knee, use arm weights.

Your quickest easiest get fit advice ever?

Eat clean. Work out. And practice wellness. Wellness is eating your vitamins. Getting enough sleep. Taking care of yourself and fueling your body with the right nutrients. Be nice to yourself.

Your take on juice cleanses? How long should they be? How effective?

Juice cleanses should last in my opinion three days. Juice cleanses are very effective when done correctly, and ineffective if misused. If you’re interested in a juice cleanse email me at Lauryn@TheSkinnyConfidential.com.

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What are some of the most common inhibitors you see when people struggle to formulate a health/beauty/fitness plan?

I always see people bite off more than they can chew. I think it’s really important again to stay balanced. I also see people who don’t sleep enough. Sleep is so important.

Best advice ever received in terms of personal health or in general?

The best advice that I’ve received is to be the best version of yourself. I think it’s really important to try your hardest in every aspect in your life.

Where do you see health and fitness going in the next 10 years?

I think a lot of people will mix it up daily and that gyms will become less popular and being outdoors will be more popular.

How can I start doing one thing today that will give me positive long-term payoff in regards to my health?

Stay away from fat-free and diet free products. They’re filled with chemicals and are bad for your health.

What is your biggest challenge that you face while working in a field of health/wellness/lifestyle?

My biggest challenge is that people are misinformed. The food companies are not providing the real truth of whats in food. I feel like people are eating chemical filled foods and don’t realize it. My advice is to know what the hell you’re eating.

Best advice you can offer to someone struggling to stick with it, or to find meaning in their fitness routine?

Just do it. Wake up. Work out. Eat clean. Sooner or later it will become a habit like brushing your teeth. Check out my blog here. And check out The Skinny Confidential book here.

If your were an animal what would you be?

Definitely a chihuahua. They’re bad ass and I’d want to hang out with my dog Mini Delites with Lauryn Evarts

How to Deal When Your Legs Can’t

It’s that dull pain after leaving the gym. The throbbing while you are driving. The ache that flairs up while you sleep. But it’s probably nothing…

At least that’s what we all think until one half assed workout turns into two and you find yourself earnestly explaining to your lifting partner…”oh no  I’m not limping.” You are definitely limping but that’s normal right? I mean you workout hard, pain is weakness leaving the body after all. That’s right see ya later weakness! This must be what being fit feels like, it just hurts so good. So good that you can’t walk up a flight of stairs. So good that you…ouch…have to stop mid workout wincing from this now raging pain. So good that now you can’t work out?

Okay so maybe it’s not nothing now. It’s probably a strained muscle. Your friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s aunt had something like this once and she powered through it. Except this isn’t sore like a strained muscle would feel. Actually this feels like a spot directly on the bone that’s hurting. You are already thinking about the F-word. That word that sends fitness nuts into a spiral of anxiety, stress fracture.

Time for a doctor appointment, just to confirm that it’s not in fact the f-word and probably just a strain from overuse. The week before the appointment reality has set in, your bone feels bruised, and every step hurts…definitely the f-word. You make the necessary preparations to come to terms with the reality that the leg is done for. It now feels like a possibility that you will never run again. All of the research points to that darn f-word. The doctor is a waste of your time, because you already know, but you will go just to confirm your spare time clinical skills. Doctor know nothing proceeds to ask if you have ever heard of shin splints, which officially makes the last hour of your day totally worthless…inducing the eternal health care face palm.

Sometimes your legs get tired and simply can’t deal. When they are tired it is important to listen to your body, or the above scenario will be a routine event. Over working and excessive training are a recipe for exhaustion. Coping with this feeling is extremely challenging and difficult for just about everyone. Below are a few methods through which to cope with tired legs and manage injury more effectively.

Look down stream: When it comes to injury looking down stream is what really allows the situation to sink in. Looking for the cause of the injury and making plans to strengthen the area around it is always a good idea, but can also prompt further working out when what the body really needs is rest. Take the time to look down the metaphorical stream one month from now. Visualizing where you want to be in the future can provide some motivation to start dealing with the present.

Don’t ignore: they always say athletes and active people are the most in tune with their bodies, but they are also the most eager to pretend like all things are fine. For whatever reason, accepting weakness or injury is never an easy thing to do, especially when you have plans and goal surrounding the activity. Clearly think about what is being felt and listen to your body.

Reassess: does everything hurt? If so rest. Do only certain things hurt? Find out what those things are and avoid them. Talk with your doctor about approved activities. Most of the time you will have the ability to do low impact activities, or things that do not irritate the pain you are experiencing.

Get a professional opinion: Appointments are never fun, and you may think you know what’s going on, but hearing it from a professional can make it real. Doctor know nothing at least has the authority to tell you to slow down or ease up and this can be much more meaningful than the friends and family who have probably been telling you the same thing all month.

Readjust: your idea of what working out is doing for you. Spend the down time going for walks, doing partner workouts with a friend, and trying new things that may have not been considered before the injury. And consider if what was being done before was healthy or excessive.

When things start to hurt impulse says to keep going. Throughout an active life the body endures tons of different aches and pains that other’s don’t have to deal with. Instead of frantically trying to maintain the same level before the pain, listen closely to what the body is saying and consider the balance between mental and physical health during times of injury.

-RV

White Girl Can’t Run

I had never felt more one with the elements than during the time spent in Dominical Costa Rica. Like I was 24 hours away from abandoning bras and shoes forever and spend my days taming wild iguanas as a career path. No hair brushing at all which meant that for the first time ever dreadlocks weren’t out of the question either. The other most awesome part of Costa Rica was the running.

Prior to the trip, I had been running like a mad woman. Partly due to a slight exercise addiction and the other part due to the half marathon I was supposed to run later that month. Only this running was better than anywhere else. Miles of rich brown sand beaches darker than those cheesy Florida sparking ocean fronts and mangroves dipping from the shore line splattered with rickety fishing boats. It was the first time that the possibility of getting attacked by a gorilla sized vulture was a possibility and the chances of a wild dog tagging along for a mile or so was definitely going to happen.

So after feeling like Mowgli for an hour every morning Costa Rican running was obviously the new favorite pastime. This led to registering for the first ever Dominical 12k to” support the possibility of getting a lifeguard and for the wild dogs” so said La Casa del Sol who was putting on the race.

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Volunteers were gathered through a real life game of telephone where you just ask around and hope people will show up. I showed up race day ready for a our very own Central American Flying Pig turn out and a killer beach run…not quite.

The group totaled to a little less than 80 people with about 40 bystanders all of whom were definitely the person who was forced to drive the runner to the starting line at the crack of dawn. The starting line was drawn in the sand with a piece of drift wood and the signage was held between two trees which were held between two shirtless locals who they called Tito and wait for it… Jake. None of that start time nonsense a little whistle was all we needed and we were off.

After a long stretch on the flat beach where I had already considered where my international 12k running career would take me next, did I see a volunteer point up the mountain in the distance as the direction we were supposed to follow. Forget the fact that someone standing in the middle of nowhere was the only source of direction…I’m sorry up a mountain?

Not just up a mountain but up a vertical spiral of loose rocks and dirt. The brisk pace that was going on was abruptly ended as the natives skipped by oblivious to the fact that we were about the scale the equivalent of 5 miles up the Top Thrill Dragster in 200% humidity. My career as an international 12k beach runner was quickly fading in the distance as the only other white person I had seen for miles and I found wound up off course and in a stream with a drifting abandoned shoe.

One of the pointing volunteers appeared out of nowhere and just froze doing his best mile marker arrow stance. Another mile up and I was walking faster backwards than I could have run. A group of barefoot 20 somethings blew by and I hear…

“Muchacha blanca no se puede ejecutar”

My one year of college Spanish told me that this meant “the white girl can’t be executed.” Whoa, I’m just doing this friendly 12k for the lifeguards and wild dogs. I used the next half mile trying to understand if this mountain would be where I was going to spend my final moments due to sheer exhaustion or a good old-fashioned Costa Rican mountain execution.

I asked the next person who trotted by if I was going to be executed and she was bilingual enough to tell me that the phrase meant,

“White girl can’t run”

Thanks for everything Spanish 103, for all of that time pronouncing to run as correr all these years. I hadn’t thought I couldn’t do something until someone told me so as I drug my sorry ass up the side of a mountain.

The entire experience made me think about the discussions I have had lately with fitness instructors from all different backgrounds on motivation and how to do what you set your mind to. How you literally are the only person who can make yourself do it no matter what it is, for example running up a 90 degree angle in a sauna. That there is a huge difference between can’t do it and won’t do it. We all can’t have the geographical inclination to scale mountains like a stroll around the block, but you can still try and see what happens. Those who won’t will simply never know.

-RV

The One Career Everyone Should Consider

Find the original version of this post at the Share it Fitness blog

After sitting down with D1 Cincinnati’s  Jesse Robinson, I immediately rescinded the thoughts I was having of skipping my run due to rainy weather. It is hard to not feel instant motivation after learning about the mentalities and foundational skills that drive the perspective of Division 1 athlete training. Jesse’s genuine motivation and passion is infectious as he explained the similarities of an Olympic athlete and a mom of 5; making it clear that the two really aren’t as different as they appear.

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Jesse has huge plans for the future, but a past that has led him to a position seeking endless development of practiced based training methods that genuinely consider the athlete on a personal level. Perfectionist wouldn’t be a far stretch from the truth, but it is apparent that Jesse’s goals go much deeper. His training mentality is all due to multiple mentors who have not only provided the ideas upon which he builds his programs, but enable him to seek continual knowledge.  By being mindful of the need for personal development Jessie applies his own concepts to his research as he seeks to provide a healthier and more successful training program to all of his clients.

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D1 Sports training is a nationally recognized training team with facilities from California to little old Ohio. The name is known far and wide as the resource for some of sport’s top athletes from AJ Hawk to Phillip Rivers.  The D1 mentality takes an all or nothing approach in that the trainer/trainee relationship is a mutually exclusive entity. In other words, they want you to be a bad ass as much as you want to be a bad ass.

What I found most interesting after our interview was the idea of implementing your health in the same way that you would a career path. Your fitness should encompass everything from a 10 year plan to properly networking yourself in order to attain optimal success in all aspects of your life. Learn why everyone should consider a career in health.

One of the toughest concepts that active people face is the idea of training smarter as opposed to training longer. Can you shed some light on over training?

When people think about how to avoid over training the thought process immediately goes to setting limits. The reality is much different. Smart training either through injury or in order to avoid injury can range from adjusting reps, sets, and body positioning. It is not as focused on stopping activity as opposed to enhancing the activity you are attempting. And for a lot of people focusing is slowing down.

So less variety and more consistency?

Shocking the body is an adopted trend from the boot camp P90x craze. The idea that you should constantly change it up and surprise your body doesn’t always lead to the safest results.   Yes it should be practiced, but not to the point where you have no actual plan. Especially if you are working to specialize in your sport or simply be stronger in your training, perfect points of weakness and build from there.

What does it take to make it in this industry? As a coach, trainer, trainee, person who enjoys slinging weights etc.

Be purposeful in your work and your goals. Whichever role you are playing, be sure that you have a clear motivation in mind and do your research. If people were truer to their values than to the image being active portrays, fitness success wouldn’t seem like such a complicated concept.

Like being informed when going to the doctor…be a critical consumer of your fitness?

Exactly. With a clear understanding of your goals you have the responsibility to hold your trainers accountable and vice versa. Check credentials and know why you are even listening to the fitness advice you are receiving. Where did these ideas that you are digesting come from? How effective is one opinion’s method in your life? By being more specific and holding your fitness to a higher standard than  Googling the “10 minute workout” will not only make you more committed, but lead to long term success in whatever you endeavor may be. I would always be skeptical of a trainer who claims their training plan is their original idea.

The hardest part is making it a habit… brownies>physical discomfort. Why is this so hard and how can someone establish an easier transition into an active lifestyle?

As a trainer, the primary goal you have with a new client is to give them a reason to make it a lifestyle. Telling someone “because it’s good for you” in no longer a valid reason. As a trainee, don’t just start running because it sounds like a good idea; run because you have a plan to train like a runner. Half committing to a variety of exercise can leave you feeling discouraged and exhausted. Pick a focus for a time, develop skills in that area, and move forward from there. Fitness doesn’t have to be the same thing on a daily basis, but you can’t forget the importance of practice, you need to understand your purpose.

 

Since we now know to be critical consumers, and make lifestyle adjustments what is your take on studio hopping (aka being a spinning addict by day and a yoga guru by night)?

You don’t always have to dive into the flavor of the week. Like with your career goals, develop your strengths and identify your passions. If you are able to feel strong in one area of health or fitness it will yield more positive and more productive results than the alternative.

It can be so easy to lose motivation while seeking out goals. What are a few ways to stay driven towards success?

Find a daily reminder that you can keep going forward. Whether you are an Olympian, a Mom of 5, or an elderly senior some factor needs to keep you coming back. Sure the intensities and motivations vary between these three examples, but intrinsically the values are relatively the same. We want to be better, we want to feel healthier, and we want to feel accomplished. In terms of your health you should have a 10 year plan mentality. Consider how you want to spend your time and develop yourself. Long term mindfulness will yield awesome short term rewards.

Absolute best advice you can provide us with?

Seek motivation in a way that works for you. One of my mentors once told me to try to perfect one thing every day no matter how small it may seem.

The degrees of commitment to health will never be the same for any one person. Learning to perfect one thing every day can be actually waking up to your alarm clock for some, and for another it may be training for an ultra-marathon. In terms of making health a lifestyle, just like a career path, you have got to make it a long term plan and allow yourself to see the bigger picture of what you are working towards. Find a network that works for you, be purposeful, and dominate your goals.

Thanks for the life talk Jesse!

Why Sweat?

We all workout for different reasons. Whenever I am asked or think about why I choose to sweat things out as opposed to other hobbies or interests it is always a little challenging to describe. Yes like most of us a huge reason is so I can squeeze into pants when the opportunity presents itself which luckily is not often as of right now. Yes so I can go wild and get desert with dinner from time to time. I can even admit that I workout because I fear what my backside would look like otherwise. But the more I think about it the more I know it is for more than that.

People try to start loving fitness all the time and half the time this attempt at the treadmill results in reinforcing why Netflix and ice cream made you feel much better. It is pretty mind blowing that some people would kill for a full day of gym time, while others would rather go get a splinter and then slam their finger in there car door before they looked at the weight room.

After considering possible reasons as to why there is such a great exercise divide, I have decided that it comes down to individual motivation. Are you the ‘will sweat for beach season’ kind? Or the ‘it fulfills my soul’ type? Even having a combination of the two can put you at various points on the ‘why bother working out at all’ spectrum.

Your workout goals can be the deciding factor in the future of your fitness minded lifestyle. It is important to understand your motivation towards an active lifestyle and more easily anticipate how you will handle potential obstacles as well as the experience as a whole. If you had to generalize the one major reason why people push themselves to the point of physical exhaustion one answer could be for happiness. You want to feel happy with yourself, your thoughts, your appearance, etc. From there everything else will start heading in the right direction…at least it should if your goals are in order.

Where those trying to break into fitness fall short are those goals that are materially focused. Meaning you ellipticize because you will be the best looking naked person in the room. You strut around hoping to bump into that gorgeous dumbbell dude you see every day. Or the classic doing laps for the best gym candid to hit Instagram in 2013. These are all extrinsically minded goals. When you are shooting for status over fulfillment, chances are your plan to become a fitness enthusiast will last about as long as your new Nike shoes are in style. Really at this point the goal isn’t even to enjoy a workout, but you still pretend that was the original goal. As a result, you the gymstagrammer will resolve yourself to the fact that it “just wasn’t for you”.

People who act on extrinsic motivations are dramatically less happy and successful than those who are intrinsically motivated.

The majority of researchers agree that when it comes to the human brain you’ve gotta use it or lose it. Contrary to how you may feel after your first date with the personal trainer, your mind loves change. One of the best ways to enhance happiness is to change it up in simple ways. Intrinsic goals and trying new things in hopes of personal growth end up being more rewarding and keep you feeling fulfilled. These motivations are why you all of a sudden can appreciate stepping in someones sweat imprint after hot yoga, or why sweat flinging of the back of the treadmill doesn’t make you nauseous. When you are in the process of trying out a lifestyle in fitness, it is a beneficial choice to try it for the reward of the sweat, or the sheer accomplishment of trying something new. Have realistic expectations and hope for how a workout will be rewarding for you the habit will catch on, and become a part of your life.

There is a reason material wants are objects. They remain detached and only surface level. Utilizing intrinsic goals in your workout journey will ensure that whatever the outcome is, it will be a meaningful one. This idea clearly applies to anything you could want in life, and it certainly pertains to achieving a more worthwhile existence.

Whether fitness is already a lifestyle or something you have considered pursuing, have balance and an open mind, and you will never cease to surprise yourself.

-R

So You Want to Follow a Health Plan

I recently started following an exercise plan. A full blown this is what you do every day scheduled agenda. This was my first time ever tackling something that involved commitment and accountability in terms of fitness.  Usually my attention span fails me once I get a week in and I’m on to the next thing. I’m sure this tendency is linked to some deeper trait that reflects qualities in personal character, but for now I’m choosing to look at it for face value.  It is just such a foreign concept. Usually my decision to either go to the gym or run outside is decided on a 5 minute walk in between classes where I gauge the weather and/or how enjoyable it would be to run outside. I have run half marathons and never followed a strict race schedule, and I rarely know what I weigh (the universal agonizing number for most gals). I am quickly realizing that my “fitness routine” is more like a trip to IKEA you never know what you’ll be walking home with.

This method has benefited me in numerous ways, primarily though keeping everything guessing from my body to running buddies; it’s all just up in the air, non-committal and pressure free. For some reason I have always disregarded the 90 day shred, or whatever intense daily commitment a lot of people choose to make. It’s not that there is any issue with doing something every day, but more so attempting to avoid the stress that comes with accountability. The thought of analyzing every single day’s work is intimidating, especially when the last time you paid this much attention to your personal daily life was coping with the emotional aftermath of the Dexter series finale.

some of the lovely fitplan participants

When it comes to workouts, finding what works for you can be hard enough on top of keeping track of the fit schedule you willingly registered for.  Here are a few things I felt the need to write out in hopes of motivating others who are wary of things with a specific time of commitment.

Adjustments a non-commiter must make towards commitment:

One commitment doesn’t need to turn into 5: It was like once I successfully accomplished a few days of the plan I had these adrenaline induced muscles that allowed me to be in 5 places at once.  Once you are productive in some aspect of your life, you suddenly find this motivation to start giving 150% at everything you do. While this is a really amazing thing, one day of power yoga isn’t going to give you the ability to seamlessly rehab your entire life resist the urge to spread yourself too thin.

Change IS stressful: This workout just asked me to go into the weight room. Like the room that has the bar and the sweaty dudes slinging weights around. It is a place where neon Nike frees and Luluemon tights are like having an extra limb coming out of your chest.  I have always been amazed at people who can just move to a new place, transition into a new job, break up with their boyfriend, and go on like all is right with the world. Tackling a workout regimen will challenge you to accept change both with your body and routine. It may feel a little stressful, but a little change can go a long way.

Routine is a good thing: Non-commiters are no stranger to chaos. In fact a day filled with simultaneous failed plans, spilled coffee, and forgotten exams is almost expected.  Once you avoid commitment for so long the idea of a routine can seem daunting.  Let your new workout plan help bring you back to some semblance of a schedule.  Just when you are feeling too overwhelmed by the day, your daily workout can help ease the stress.

No ‘do this to do that’ mentality: The beautiful thing about a fitness plan is that it is solely focused on producing change for YOU. None of that SHAPE magazine run for an hour to burn off the two cookies you had at lunch, or swimming a bazillion laps equals the calories in your sliver of cake.  “Motivators” like that can make anyone turn towards a pack of Oreos to avoid all of the calculations.  Your fitness plan is meant to be an aid, not a tool through which you continue to over analyze your life.

Let go of control: I know…you have run a for half hour on the treadmill every day since you were in the fourth grade.  Your fitness plan is going to challenge that need to control your routine.  Whatever it is about working out it seem like once you find what you enjoy the thought of missing your squat reps can seem downright insane.  A fitness regimen will help broaden your interests as well as reveal new opportunities you may not have considered.

It doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong: Now you didn’t get to do your squat reps and some other weird rep came and took its place. I found myself  going back and doing my ‘comfort zone workout’ after completing the new plan’s daily routine.  It took a few days for it to sink in that whatever plan you are following is called a plan for a reason.  The new workouts may not be the same, but they still count!

Thank you Share it Fitness for challenging us to step out of our comfort zones and try something new. It will be exciting to see the changes!

-RV

The 10 Workouts you Already Dominate

A friend of mine was talking about the fact that she was going to three different workout classes the other day for a total of three straight hours of activity. Besides the fact that she was able to find three straight hours to fill, I was dumbfounded as to why on earth someone would feel the need to inflict that kind of personal exhaustion for the time it takes Dexter to off 4-5 criminals. I realize that I am not one to talk being known to spend the majority of my time doing various active things, but that doesn’t mean I go spin for three hours straight (at least not yet).

Then I realized a lot of people around me were rattling off the 50 new awesome workouts they tried this week one of which being karaoke spinning…excuse me? Suddenly I felt like I had missed the memo. You hear every day about all of the workouts you need to start doing, how you aren’t doing enough to be active. Basically you can’t turn on the TV without being made to feel insecure about the freshly scooped ice cream you just busted out because supposedly everyone else is just constantly going on runs and all ‘sweat is weakness leaving the body’. I would say most people know where to draw the line between inducing a heart attack and glistening after the elliptical, but recently I have had my doubts. Basically my primary concern is that you and your working out are not turning to a microphone on a spin bike just like iPhone turned to selfies and filters; rather than pure exercise goodness. 

This little article is meant to highlight how you may be overlooking your already fit choices you are making without running 10 miles to feel validated.  So you may not be killing it in the gym every single day, but I can think of 10 pretty legitimate workouts that you do daily that go unaccredited because you aren’t wearing cool Nike swag, or eating colorful quinoa, or ready for the classic instawitter combo (that’s when you tweet and gram it at the same time fyi) when you do these things, and no one really cares unless its documented through 5 mediums of social networking right? 

10 Workouts you Already Dominate 

1. Walking…with your life on your back: Jobs, class, workouts, clubs whatever it is; usually demands at least a few extra articles of clothing and/or every textbook you own. Come Tuesday I usually have enough in my backpack to last me a week. 

2. Your life without a dishwasher: enough said. If you added the hours spent scrubbing with that ‘leaves your hands smelling like mold’ sponge, you may realize you just fulfilled a week of workouts. 

3. Logging on: I don’t know about you but I have at least 10 different email accounts for myself and jobs that I am forced to regularly check. Not to mention the 40 different sites that require a username and password. I have every variation of my dogs name and capital letter with an exclamation point you can imagine and remembering them is no walk in the park.

4. Scaling the climb to your front door: That super cute vintage gaslight apartment up on the hill located on the 5th floor that was the best idea you have ever had…probably not as awesome once you make it up 6 flights of stairs carrying that bag that has your life in it. 

5. Research Methods and Analytical Patterns (insert torturous class here): maintaining consciousness through 15 weeks of PowerPoint presentations without collapsing on the floor in a heap of boredom exhibits the endurance of a true champion.  

6. Brushing: your hair, teeth, the stains from last nights fun, only because a load of laundry costs $3 these days, whatever it is you brush you know how your arm burns after wrestling with the knot after mere minutes.

7. If you have ever tried to decipher how to operate a Clifton lock and key: the chances of you actually having the right key to the right lock are about as likely as the lock actually being installed right side up and clockwise.  They are a mental puzzle that even the brightest have failed to accomplish.

8. Carrying 30 bags of groceries simultaneously: similar to the brush workout. I’d like to see any of these new hip workouts make you feel as if your arm is literally going to rip off of your body. Combine this workout with #1 & #4 and you’re spring break ready. 

9. Getting clothes on for Friday night: 4 pairs of pants=20 burpees…and a strained hip. 

10. 9-12 hour part-time job shifts: everyone complains about their 9-5 and there are plenty of reasons as to why this happens, but I would say anyone working a part time job for more than 8 hours a day has every right to complain a little bit. Corporate professionals deal with meetings, ridiculous bosses, and monotonous days. The part-timers deal with this corporate person who is miserable after leaving their full time job and now they are hungry, miserable, angry, and their shoes are too small.  Dealing with the public provides a lifetime of tactical moves.  If you have ever powered through your full day at a part time job congrats you earned your workout. 

Did you get your workout in yet today?

-R

 

The Best Workout you Haven’t Tried

I have always been a serial workout dater. There are only so many ways you can repeat those sun salutations in yoga, or sit up and down on your spin bike. When I meet a new one it doesn’t take long before I’m signed up 4 times a week giving up my independent freedom to workout on my own time and consuming myself in the workout of the month.  Like many serious relationships that interest begins to fade. You know they start being too needy, taking up too much of your time, trying to hold your hand too much, and being generally smothering.  Basically my attention span to fitness is comparable to that of a two year old at the zoo.  Every foreign sweat session is my new favorite animal without the public yells of excitement and Velcro shoes of course. I have actually enjoyed the majority of new ones that were tried with the exception of this one yoga class where we had to make animal like sounds while breathing the entire time. That one threw me off a little bit.

When summer rolls around and college students are given the choice to pay for a gym membership or wait until they are members through studentship again chances are my bagel and oatmeal budget is going to take precedence. Every summer I wonder how on earth I will fill the gym void. I wish I could be one of those people who can magically run 50 miles a week and never feel pain, not the case for this average runner (click to read more on what it means to be average). My legs tend to lose it upon consecutive days of hilly runs which leaves me sore and without gym relief.

However, this summer I believe I found my workout soul mate.  It is the perfect compliment to my exceptionally short attention span in the midst of adrenaline pumping fitness.  This workout encompasses aspects of the tons of different little workouts that have come in and out of the routine, minus the bizarre animal sounds you can make through doing a headstand and restricting your breathing (post to come on this experience). If you feel the same lack of focus towards one monotonous fitness routine then this workout is for you.

Tabata

I realize it is fairly common by now and a general practice among those who prefer high intensity interval training, but the amount of people I have talked to about it look at me with this perplexed reaction and proceed to butcher how the word is either spelled or spoken.  I get it…it’s a weird word.   It even isn’t recognizing it as a real word when you type it.  Why tabata you ask? Here is why

hill run tabata day in AZ

1. It goes fast: Tabata works like this-20 seconds on 10 seconds rest.  During your 20 second interval you go as fast as you can until the timer beeps your rest period. Then repeat 8 times. For those math wizes out there that’s only a mere 4 minutes per tabata.  I do the routine and it is over before I start getting bored of it. With an incredibly hectic schedule this workout fits perfectly if you need a quick and thorough workout.  You can pick a combination of moves and alternate throughout the 8 rounds to give a more total body workout.

2. User Friendly: My mom who I can guess would rather do just about anything else than participate in a high intensity interval training workout even enjoys tabata. This routine is absolutely perfect for anyone interested in trying new moves or a quick and potentially painless routine.  You are able to pick moves that are as difficult as you want them to be. So you want towalk in circles as hard as you can every 20 seconds? Do it, it’s still tabata!

3.You sweat…a lot: transitioning from burpees to tuck jumps and back to burpees 8 times makes me start sweating at the mere thought. Upping your heart rate so suddenly and then tricking it by stopping for 10 seconds really gets the blood pumping which means after a thorough tabata it would not be abnormal to be sweating as if you just ran uphill with a bag of bricks strapped on your back wearing a vinyl body suit.

4. High calorie burn: hello ice cream for desert! The elevated heart rate combined with the muscle confusion of always changing up the move= tons of calories burned in a much shorter time period. As opposed to stuffing grass and heads of lettuce in your mason jar ice water to conserve calories try to sweating it out instead with tabata. If you pick moves that target multiple muscles and incorporate cardio you will feel the results of your self inflicted ass kicking.

5. Expand your horizons: ugh one hyphenated word…. push-ups.  I just can’t learn to love them no matter how hard I try, but tabata makes trying them out a lot more bearable.  Just when I’m starting to look like a slug crawling up the driveway the timer beeps and I can begin forgetting how ridiculous trying to bench my body weight ends up looking.  Whatever moves you have in mind just try it, it’s only 20 seconds. Hope you love it!

-R