Archive for Workouts

What we’re REALLY in charge of

dempsey and gordoWhen we moved into our second house German home, back in December 2016, we found that we’d inherited this little cutie along with it.  Of course, as soon as he (el Gordo is his real name!) found out about our dog, Daisy, he didn’t like us so much.

That was in December of 2015.  Fast forward to the beginning of the fall of 2016, when his outdoor cat lifestyle caught up with him, and he wasn’t so ‘gordo’ anymore; he was skinny and hungry.  We started to feed him, and over the next couple of months he adopted us.  He not only let us pet him, he demanded our attention, marched into the kitchen and yelled at us if the back door was open, and just generally thought he should be attended to at all times.
At that point in time, we were already speculating what would happen when we moved In the summer of 2017.  My daughter, Taylor, asked me, ”What will we do when we move?  Do we take him with us?  Will he get along with Daisy?  Do you think he’ll turn into a housecat by then?”
My answer was that we would just have to wait and see.

 

I pointed out that el Gordo had already made a pretty big transition from being an outdoor cat back to being kind of a pet, getting used to Daisy, trusting us, and feeling mostly comfortable in our house just in the past two months alone.  “All we can do is be patient, keep trying and doing our best, hope for the best, and wait to see how things turn out.”
Be Patient.  Keep Trying.  Hope for the best.  Wait to see how things turn out.
Not exactly a gratifying answer for an 11-going-on-20 year-old.  Then again, it’s not the kind of answer most of us want to hear—especially when it comes to making diet/fitness/health/lifestyle changes.
Which, as soon as the words were out of my mouth, was exactly what I thought of.
We so much of the time want to control the outcome.  We want guarantees that our efforts will give us the results we want—the exact results we want, no ‘side effects’ included.   We want the exact formula and timeline for successfully reaching our goals—and the faster and with the least amount of effort possible, please.
Trouble is, that’s just not the way things work.
It’s the reason I NEVER tell a client they’ll be X pounds lighter, able to do pull ups, down a size, or lifting pounds in a certain number of weeks or months.
There are just too many factors that are out of our hands, unpredictable, beyond our immediate knowing or understanding.
  • We never know when we might get sick. 
  • We don’t have guarantees that a certain diet or nutrition change will work exactly as we envisioned, or were told, or as it did for our mother/sister/friend/coworker. 
  • We don’t always know how much exercise we need or can tolerate, realistically. 
  • We often don’t realize there’s a postural issue or nagging injury we need to resolve before we can keep up with our fitness regime, or make progress.
Some people might freak out and throw their hands in the air and say, fine, if you’re telling me there’s no guarantee this will work or turn out the way I want it to, what’s the use?  Why bother?
First, if we never try then we can guarantee that we’ll never succeed/reach those goals—THAT is one guarantee I can make you!
But moreover, what we can control—well, influence is a better word—is making a positive impact on our own lives, and often the lives of others, through our continued efforts.
Actually, the more we try, the better we can make ourselves feel—inside and out, which to me means cognitively, emotionally and physically.
One of my favorite books is SPARK:  The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by John J. Ratey, and I have ‘dog-eared’ the heck out of this book.  This book has reinforced what I already felt/knew to be true about exercise:  its benefits are far beyond simply burning fat and making lean muscle.
Turns out, we are hard-wired to move—it makes our brains happy, calms us down, helps the brain create new neural pathways (keeping dementia at bay), stimulates heart-healthy hormone creation, energizes us, and makes us feel strong, capable, powerful, resilient and successful.
That is HUGE. 
And, honestly, it’s those feelings and outcomes that most of us are probably after when we go on diets or start new exercise programs or plans—we want to feel GOOD. 
  • We want to feel strong, capable, powerful, resilient and successful—we just get caught up in thinking that’s the result of certain outcomes, not the impact of our continued effort. 
  • We get tricked into thinking our happiness is at the end of the rainbow when we meet our goals, fit into those jeans, hit X pounds on the scale. 
  • We don’t realize that our happiness actually lies in what we do for ourselves through our daily/weekly exercise efforts.
The good stuff lies in our consistent efforts.
That’s where we get the happy—not just when we hit that ‘final’ goal.
And the funny thing is, that when we start paying more attention to that daily work, celebrating our little wins, enjoying the positive impact we’re making in our own lives, that’s often when those results start to show up.
OR it’s when we stop being so attached to the outcome we wanted in the beginning, trading it in for enjoying the process instead.

Be Patient. 

Keep Trying. 

Hope for the best. 

Wait to see how things turn out.

AND enjoy the process—dial into that positive impact you’re creating.

Because at the end of the day, that daily positive impact is stuff that counts; that’s the stuff that shapes how we live so much more than simply what we might weigh, how we might look, or what size we might wear.

 

“If you fall in love with the process, the results are a foregone conclusion.”
~ Jen Sinkler
If you need a couple of workouts ideas, here are a couple that you might enjoy as part of your daily, continued efforts!
And if these don’t suit your needs, I have a whole library of Workout Wednesday videos you can choose from here:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL649MHt6sZFCXY4UxL-OdWaNbrCLeSTmz
Enjoy!  
If you’re looking for support getting started on making lifestyle changes, to build a stronger body and sustainable healthy eating habits, shoot me a message at kate@reallifefitbykate.com!  I’d love to talk. We can set up a discovery call and get you on the path towards creating a body and lifestyle you love.
****************
By the way, we never did have to make any hard decisions about el Gordo.  Shortly after the winter weather ended, el Gordo decided he would be an outdoor cat once more.  He’d come for visits, and to have his food bowl filled–out on the patio–but there was no way he would become our housecat.
So when we left Germany in June of 2017, we left el Gordo, too, hoping that the next tenants would adopt our cantankerous little friend.  We still wonder about him from time to time, and hope that he’s well and happy.
 ****************

elgordodec15

 

Are you relying too much on the ‘M’ word?

I’ve got a question for you:  Are you relying too much on the ‘M’ word?

 

 

 

‘Motivation,’ that is.

 

 

 

And another:  Are you one of those people who’s ‘waiting for the New Year’ to take care of your health and fitness?

 

 

 

Or:  are you one of those people who tends to say, “Oh, it’s the holidays, I’ll start working out again after January 1”?

 

 

 

One of the words I hear tossed around frequently (especially when it comes to working out when things get busy) is ‘motivation,’ as in:  “I don’t feel motivated” or “I just don’t have motivation” or “I just can’t get motivated.”

 

IMG_0274

 

 

And I get it–really, I do.

 

 

 

Except….Except motivation is one of those ‘sprint’ emotions–it’s there all in a flash and feels hot and exciting, but flames out fast.

 

 

 

So ‘motivation’ isn’t a very good long-term way to achieve or maintain successful exercise or healthier eating habits (sorry!), especially during the holiday season, aka:  the rest of 2017. The hours of daylight are getting shorter, the list of to-do’s is often a bit longer, we feel less energetic in general, and then we have all these ‘extras’ to figure out–parties, gifts, family get-togethers, travel plans….

 

 

 

At the end of the day, motivation isn’t going to see us through, especially when we feel pressed for time/energy and pulled in many directions at once.

 

 

 

What we need instead is a whole lot of purpose–we need to know and have a really good handle on our big WHY for continuing to make healthier choices for ourselves instead of putting our health and fitness on the back burner until the magical ‘new year’ arrives.

 

 

 

 

It’s our WHY, our deep, gut-level purpose, is what really gets us moving and keeps us moving.  

 

  • It’s what makes us rise up bravely from our falls.
  • It’s the voice that whispers, “try again” in our ear when we want to stay down.
  • It’s what gets us to the gym at those odd hours, or picking up the dumbbells or kettlebells at home to get in that much-needed workout instead of ‘throwing in the towel,’ because we’re tired or it’s no longer convenient.

 

 

 

Motivation is long gone at these times, and if we wait to find it again so that we can act, so we can get moving, and do the (sometimes) hard things we need to do for ourselves, we will be waiting a VERY long time.

 

 

 

I know I sure don’t feel motivated to do anything but camp out on my couch under a blanket in comfy clothes most evenings.

 

 

 

also know that if I let motivation dictate my evening choices, I won’t get in that much-needed workout, or read that extra article or chapter of an exercise science book, or cook a healthy dinner for me and my family.

 

 

 

But if we call on our WHY instead of ‘finding’ motivation? 

Our why is always there for us–we just have to look a bit deeper to find it.

 

 

 

So instead of leaning so heavily on motivation to keep up with our health and fitness goals through the holidays, we can turn the ‘M’ word on its head–literally–so that it becomes much more useful.

 

 

 

When we turn it upside down, that M becomes a W, which stands for our big WHY.

 

 

 

And NOW is the time to do just that.

 

fullsizeoutput_679d

 

If you don’t yet have a solid grip on your big WHY–if you can’t say your why out loud, if it’s not right there on the tip of your tongue, then it’s time to pause and define it.

 

 

 

Here’s how to get to that big WHY!

 

 

 

First, start with this:

What are your fitness goals?

 

Then ask:

  • Why does this/do these goal(s) matter?
  • How do these fitness goals affect your life?
  • How do these fitness goals impact your health?
  • How do these fitness goals impact how you feel each day?
  • How do these fitness goals impact how you feel about yourself?
  • How do these fitness goals influence your energy?
  • How do these fitness goals influence your happiness?
  • How do these fitness goals improve or affect your overall quality of life?

 

IMG_2294

 

Now your job is to take all the answers to those questions, and distill them down into what I’ve started calling your ‘Anchor’:  a clear, strong, solid one-sentence answer that sums up powerfully WHY your fitness goals REALLY matter to you.

 

 

Finding and defining your Anchor matters, because:

  • There are going to be a lot of times you feel like skipping the gym or hitting the couch instead of the weights.
  • There are going to be times you may want to quit.  
  • There are times when working out doesn’t feel great, or you aren’t happy with your performance.  
  • There are going to be times where other people might interfere–question why you have to work out, try to get you to skip your plans and do something else, try to commandeer your time.

 

 

The difference between the path you choose at these times will likely be determined by your Anchor–that big WHY statement that you can ‘reach back to’ to hold you fast to your goals and purpose.

 

 

So before the week is over, I encourage you to find a few quiet minutes (yeah, I know, ‘quiet’–hahahaha….) and build your Anchor.

 

 

Make your anchor something you can repeat easily to yourself, something that ‘hits you right in the feels.’  Post it on your bathroom mirror, on your desk, on your fridge, in your car and anywhere else you might need to see it each day.

 

 

Then stick to your fitness goals tenaciously for the rest of this holiday season and clear through 2018 to feel your best and come out feeling proud and accomplished instead of sluggish and feeling bad about having to start all over.

 

“Have an anchor so that life doesn’t toss you around.” 

~Debby Ryan

 

You’ve got this–and I’ve got your back!  Just shoot me an email if you need a little more guidance, support and accountability getting started and sticking to your fitness goals!!

 

Simply click this link, and we’ll get you started on an amazing 2018 ==> kate@reallifefitbykate.com

 

And in case you needed a solid, get-er-done, do-anywhere workout, I’ve got you covered with this fun, simple and sweaty circuit:  https://youtu.be/re3huJy0TTY

 

Stay Anchored!!

 

xo,

Kate

IMG_5334

Your 30-Day ‘Motivation’ Fix!

***Coming August 15: The “Just Move It” 30-Day Challenge***

https://forms.aweber.com/form/15/842351815.htm

 

JMI30

 

 

 

Smack in the middle of my birthday workout last weekend, I was struck by an overwhelming feeling of gratitude–for my health, for the support and guidance I’ve had from so many amazing people on my journey, and for the vitality I’m enjoying at 43 years old.

 

 

 

IMG_9944

So I decided I needed to give back a little, or at least pay it forward.

 

 

Here’s the first step in my commitment to do what I can to support others in feeling their best, too, at any and every age.

 

 

***Coming August 15: The “Just Move It” 30-Day Challenge***
https://forms.aweber.com/form/15/842351815.htm

 

fullsizeoutput_6e74

This will be a consistency challenge, where the goal is to get in some kind of movement or exercise in every single day for 30 days STRAIGHT.

 

 

I know the dog days of summer and the start of school can throw our best plans for a loop, so this challenge is aimed at getting us all committed to moving daily, no matter the challenges.

 

 

7-day challenges are great for boosting intensity, but consistency is what gets us the real results, so this one is a full-on, 30-day challenge!

 

15318-a-healthy-young-woman-tying-her-laces-before-exercise-pv

What is the Just Move It 30 Challenge??

This is a challenge designed to help you build or reinforce consistency—to make some kind of intentional physical movement a part of your normal, everyday life.

 

 

The goal is to make moving or working out “just part of what we do.”

 

 

I’ve been working as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for 5+ years, and the biggest obstacles to success I see people struggle with are Mindset and Consistency.

SB_108893816

 

The #JustMoveIt30 Challenge is my way of tackling both challenges at once to help you cultivate resilience in the face of challenge.

 

 

In other words, I want you to believe that you CAN do this—that you can stay active, strong, determined and empowered, even when things get tough.

 

fullsizeoutput_679d

 

 

Starting August 15, participants in the “Just Move It 30” Challenge will engage in some kind of physical activity each day.

 

 

These bouts of physical activity can be:
*A ‘5-minute mini’
*Taking a walk
*Going for a run
*Going to a fitness class
*Doing yoga
*Lifting weights
*OR any other kind of workout

 

IMG_5122

 

ANY kind of intentional, physical movement counts, whether it’s 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or more minutes in duration.

 

 

It doesn’t matter what KIND of movement you do, as long as you DO it each day.

 

 

For 30 days straight, we’re going to choose GRIT over quit!

 

IMG_0030

How to Participate:
–> First, sign up here: https://forms.aweber.com/form/15/842351815.htm

 

 

–>And then you’ll get the welcome email with ALL the nitty gritty.

 

 

–>Then, beginning August 15, you’ll do some kind of physical activity every single day for 30 days straight.

 

 

Outcomes of participating in the #JustMoveIt30 Challenge:
+ Increased determination
+ Find new ways of sneaking in workouts—even on busy days
+ Get out of the ‘all-or-nothing’ exercise mindset
+ Increased self-confidence
+An ‘I got this!’ attitude
+ Feelings of pride and accomplishment!

 

fullsizeoutput_6f2a

AND you can win prizes, too!

 

 

  • EVERYONE who completes this challenge and submits a picture with the #JustMoveIt30 hashtag each of the 30 days wins a FREE 4-week CUSTOMIZED fitness plan designed to meet the unique needs of YOUR body and lifestyle (a $300 value)

 

Really! It’s my way of ‘giving back.’

 

 

I just celebrated my 43rd birthday, and I’m deeply grateful for another year on earth, and for being able to move and enjoy having a healthy body.

standing profile pic

 

One of the ways I’m choosing to show gratitude for the gifts I’ve been given and good health I enjoy is to give more of myself to others as well–to help women move more, feel better, lead more satisfying lives, and feel strong and vital, inside and out.

 

 

The Result:  The Just Move It 30-Day Challenge!

 

JMI30

Sign Up HERE: https://forms.aweber.com/form/15/842351815.htm

to Just Move It for 30 with me, too!

 

 

Questions? Message me OR email me at kate@reallifefitbykate.com

 

 

Here’s to becoming our best at every stage of life!
Kate

 

Project: Push-Pull Week 4: Make your training entertaining!

DSC_4168bw

 

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

~Beverly Sills

 

 

When it comes to doing solid, effective and healthy push ups and pull ups, there are just no shortcuts.

 

 

 

There are helpful exercises—both strengthening exercises and mobilization exercises, but in order for any of them to work, they have to be done consistently.

 

 

 

Really, that’s the only way we ever master our push ups and pull ups—through consistent, persistent efforts over time.

 

 

 

We don’t have to put in massive, Herculean efforts every single day, but to get stronger all the way around and to make it possible to do push ups, pull ups (or both) at all, or do more of them, or do them better, we just plain have to put in the time and work!

 

 

That said, we can make the work interesting—maybe even fun sometimes!

 

To improve pull ups, get some bar work in at least 3 days a week.  To improve push ups, work on the style of push up that’s right for you currently a little bit every day, or a minimum of 3 days a week.

 

 

And to get better at both faster, make sure to do consistent–if not daily–core work, things like crawling drills, planking drills, dead bug exercises, and hanging bar work.

 

Here are a few exercises you can start working into your workouts throughout the week that will both get you stronger and keep you entertained:

 

Ring Rows

 

 

Hanging Knee Raises

 

Hanging Knees to Elbows

 

 

As well as a variety of crawling drills and planking drills:

 

Inchworms

 

All-Fours crawls

 

Bear Crawls

 

Lizard Crawls

 

Plank Hold Complex

 

 

Limb-Away Elbow Planks

 

Limb-Away Tall Planks

 

Keep consistent, keep positive, never lose your hunger to do push ups and pull ups well, and you’ll be rocking them out before you know it, too!

 

 

Questions?  Need a little personalized advice or guidance?  

Shoot me a message at:  kate@reallifefitbykate.com.  

 

 

I offer complementary 20-minute coaching calls and I LOVE helping people figure out how to make any training plan or nutrition plan work for them!

 

We can hop on the phone, Skype, FaceTime, GoogleHangouts, or whatever works best for you and get you started training and/or eating more effectively 🙂

 

Talk to you soon, and happy pushing and pulling!

Kate

 

#getonthebar

#ProjectPushPull

{Move More Monday}

IMG_0604

 

{Move More Monday}

 

 

Here’s a fun one to add to your warm up or joint prep: Inchworms with a reach and a row.

 
You get some shoulder movement, hip hingeing, hamstring activation, and lots of core stabilization to get the body ready to work–it’s one of the warm up drills we’ve been using in class as prep work for our daily perfect push up practice.
 
This inchworm variation can be a great ‘just get a little less stiff’ exercise or as another part of a core training progression by adding reps to the reaches and rows.
 
Lots of ways to make this move work for you–give it a shot and let me know what you think!
 
#MoveMoreMonday

Project Push-Pull Week 3: Hang Tight to Pull More!

What do we need to be able to do in order to do pull ups at all???

IMG_0681

We need to be able to hang from a bar, and control our entire bodyweight while doing so.

 

 

 

So step one, assuming you’ve got healthy shoulders, is to learn to hang from the bar for longer and longer periods of time consistently throughout the week.

 

 

We need to be able to hang on to the bar period if we’re going to have any hope of pulling ourselves up, and this means we need some serious grip strength.  Grip strength is one of those ‘unsexy’ factors that all those fitness magazines and dvd workouts fail to mention!  But it’s absolutely essential to any kind of pulling at all.

 

 

To begin to build your functional grip strength, you need to hang on to heavy things for period of time longer than are, well, comfortable.  You have to progressively challenge your limits to get stronger over time, and this means doing a couple of things:

 

–performing hanging drills

 

–performing grip-challenging exercises (such as deadlifts and Farmer’s Carries)

 

 

There are tons of variations of hanging drills you can use to strengthen your grip AND get you a little more aware of your whole body, because to do a good pull-up, we need to be able to tighten up all over at the same time.

 

 

Being able to tighten all our muscles, together, at the same time, on command, is a learned skill for most of us–and this means it’s a skill we need to practice!

 

 

Some hanging drills you can start to do anywhere there’s a bar to hang from are:

 

Dead Hang (with an overhand, ‘pull up’ grip)

 

 

Dead Hang (with an underhand, ‘chin up’ grip)

 

Dead Hang (with a neutral grip where palms face each other–as when you do them on monkey bars)

 

Hanging Bent Knee Raises (a kind of curl up)

 

Scapular Pull-Ups (where you practice the ‘first pull’ from around your ‘armpit’ muscles)

 

 

Hollow Holds on the Bar (Progressing to Beat Swings–where you push your body away from the bar, while keeping the ‘banana’ hollow hold position, using your lat muscles)

 

Heavy Farmer’s Carries

 

But the word ‘hanging’ can imply a passive action–there’s no such thing in an effective pull up!

 

While you are on the bar, your job is to:

 

–pull your armpits down slightly (to activate your back muscles)

–try to bring your ribs closer to your hips (activate your ab muscles)

–squeeze your butt tight and make a ‘scared doggy butt’ (tighten up your glutes and tilt your pelvis posteriorly

 

…and then…HOLD.

 

 

Hold for as long as you can!  Time it with a stopwatch or by counting your breaths; the goal is to increase your hang time each week.

 

Remember, all the plank work you’ve been doing as you’ve been working on your push ups is going to come in super handy when you’re learning how to tighten up your whole body during these hang exercises.

 

 

Here are a few plank variations you can start incorporating into your daily or weekly workouts:

 

Prone Weight Shifts (also good for building up wrist mobility and strength)

 

Tall Planks with Alternating Limb Extensions

Shoulder Tap Planks (aka: Pledge Planks)

 

 

Plank Punches

 

 

Plank Ups (definitely the most advanced variation here)

 

 

Keep it all tight, all the time!  It’s the difference between trying to carry a flailing toddler, a toddler who’s completely passed out, and a 5-foot length of 2×4.

 

 

The tighter your body is all over (like a 2×4 piece of lumber) the easier it will be to eventually pull and move.  Trust me from all my personal experience, the tighter you can get, the better you can pull and the more you can pull!

 

 

Trying to do pull ups with a swinging body is a huge exercise in wasted energy and frustration, so always aim to be more like a 2×4 and less like a flailing toddler, lol 😉

 

So there you have it–lots of grip strengthening, body-tightening, skill- and confidence-building drills to get you started on the road to doing some amazing pull-ups!

 

Not sure where to start, how often to do these, or have any other questions?

Fire me an email–I’d love to give you a little (complimentary) coaching 🙂

You can reach me at kate@reallifefitbykate.com

 

 

And don’t forget to check out my FB page (Real Life Fit by Kate) for more articles and updates about pull up and push up training and success for everyone!

 

 

Getting more ladies doing pull-ups is my passion!!

 

Happy Pulling!

 

This is the year! Get it!

This is the year! Get it!

 

How I lost the babyweight after #2

walk 18 weeks

Sitting in my father’s basement TV room while visiting home, 6 months postpartum, with a gorgeous and healthy baby, I was also feeling trapped–10 pounds heavier than my pre-baby weight, wearing a bigger pant size, and A LOT more squishy than I’d been before getting pregnant.”

 

 

That was in late 2005, when I just had zero idea how to help myself at the time, and I tried The FIRM system at home after my daughter turned 6 months old.  Following their exercise plan for beginners (but completely disregarding their meal plan—I was still of the mindset I could ‘exercise off’ what I ate), I improved my fitness over the next 12 weeks and my stamina and self-confidence improved, but my physique didn’t change much.

 

 

Of course, the heaviest weights I used for any of their workouts were 8 lbs….those were the heaviest ones.  I had lighter ones, too!

 

DSC02139

Baby #2 with my 5# dumbbells

 

 

I giggle when I think about that now.

 

 

I didn’t’ end up losing the weight and gaining more muscle until I started a little bit of interval training on the elliptical and treadmill as well as lifting weights and working with a personal trainer in late 2006.  My interval work was pretty gentle, though, because I was rehabbing my low back/pelvic injury from horse riding accident, so sprint efforts weren’t on the table.  45 minute gentle interval sessions were.

 

 

 

But I was pretty determined not to have the same weight loss/fat loss issues after baby #2, so when I got pregnant the second time, I stayed active, kept lifting weights and doing interval workouts.

 

 

 

Why intervals?

 

 

Two reasons, namely:  I needed to catch my breath and stay oxygenated while working out (didn’t want to starve the baby of it’s O2!), and doing any other kind of workout on a piece of cardio equipment was BORING.  I never was one of those women who could spend an hour straight on the stairmaster—or any other piece of equipment for that matter!

 

 

 

Doing intervals was the ONLY way I could keep myself on those machines—and I was convinced I needed to in order to lose weight, or at least not gain too much with baby #2.

 

 

 

When I was cleared to start really exercising again after baby #2 arrived, I started with walk-jog intervals to rebuild, well, everything, and when the evening daylight faded, I started going to the gym again.  But with a husband in flight school and a baby and a three year-old, I couldn’t spend an hour or more working out!

 

With #2 when he was 4 weeks old

 

So I researched some faster-moving/results-producing super-set strength training plans and went back to my cardio machine intervals.

 

 

Even though my interval training wasn’t too intense, the combination of lifting progressively heavier weights (the 8# days were long gone) and my regular interval training sessions gave me results very quickly.

 

 

By the time baby #2 was 9 months old, I had flat abs and was a size smaller than I’d ever been before.  It kind of shocked me HOW effective what I was doing was for my body.

 

 

DSC02264

10 months after baby #2 arrived

A strength training devotee was born!

A few months later, I started doing more reading about the effectiveness of HIIT workouts, and played around with different interval training plans (most of which I’ve shared with you over the past 4 weeks!), and had even more success with high intensity interval training on the elliptical and the treadmill.

Since 2010, some kind of interval training has been a regular part of my own weekly training routines.  Truly, HIIT workouts have been my go-to anytime I needed or wanted to lean out a bit or get back in shape—and there have been more than a few times when it’s been necessary!

There’s nothing like a couple of Tabata sprint sessions a week to boost the metabolism quickly—as in noticeably less fat around the midsection in just a couple of weeks.  Plus, it’s hard to be bored when you’re tracking your 20 second sprint/10 second rest intervals in those Tabata workouts.

The thing is, getting fit and staying fit aren’t a simple linear progression—life happens, and between 2010 and now, I’ve broken my big toe, had a bone infection in my foot, had surgery on a knee, injured my shoulder, gone on a few different vacations, and, well, overeaten through a few holiday seasons (but not this past year!).

Heidelberg2011

Gettin’ around with the help of a knee brace pre-surgery in 2011

HIIT workouts and circuit training with weights have been my recovery tools each time.

But figuring out which HIIT or interval workouts to do took time and research—pouring through Oxygen magazines at first, then scouring the internet in later years for ideas, comparing workouts, figuring out the structure for my weekly and monthly plans….

I SO wish there’d been a program like TreadLIFT available way back in 2006-2010!  I would have saved me SO much time and effort and brain sweat—plus, I would have gotten great results that much sooner.

At least all my time, effort, research and personal testing made it possible for me to recognize an outstanding and effective program when I see one!

And TreadLIFT is definitely that—well structured, super entertaining (you just can’t get bored when you’re sprinting and hill climbing through your workout), and designed to give you a massive amount of bang for your workout buck.

IMG_0818 IMG_0819

 

This is why I’m so confident in this program that I’m sharing it with you—because it’s the kind of program that can help get you real results without spending hours in the gym.  It’s designed for real people who have real lives and can’t mess around with programs that take hours out of their schedules each week or that are tedious and boring.

Life’s too short for that mess!

To give you a little more idea about the kinds of workouts you can expect to get in TreadLIFT, I did the BUILD Legs #1 workout and made a quick video to share with you!  You can check it out here:  https://youtu.be/Un7Em3FcAhM

I love that the programs are done-for-you, that there’s a workout calendar for easy planning and execution, and that the workouts can be easily tweaked to meet your needs.

TreadLIFT’s workouts are all 30 minutes or less, uncomplicated and require minimal equipment–which means they are perfect for busy women, SAHMs, and on-the-go/located all over the globe mil spouses.  All my favorite kinds of people, really!

You can check out all the details here:  http://bit.ly/rlfbykate_treadLIFT

FYI–the program will be open for for registration only through this Friday May 6th at midnight PST ONLY, so don’t wait too long to check it out!

3 Tools to Ensure Your Exercise Is Actually Helping You Lose Fat

ellipticals

I’m so excited to share today’s blog post from my business coach and fellow fitness pro, Jill Coleman.

 

I first came across Jill’s work back in 2013, and was immediately impressed by her down-to-earth, reasonable, get results approach to fitness and nutrition.

After being exposed for years to the all-or-nothing approach to eating and exercising–you know, the EAT CLEAN (or else!) and exercise like a figure contest competitor as the best/only way to get ‘fit’–it was a relief to find someone who ‘lived in the middle’ but still got amazing results.

Plus, she openly admitted she enjoys having wine–and not just once a month. It was the first time I’d heard a fitness pro in social media say that!

Not only is Jill a fantastic mindset and business coach, she’s also a hell of an athlete who’s been a varsity sports star, rowed crew in college, taught group fitness classes, competed in figure competitions and has done some fitness modeling as well.

Bottom line: the woman knows how to get results–ones that both increase athleticism and sculpt some sweet-looking muscles (that’s what having a sports AND physique background will do!), while honoring our hormonal balances and metabolism.

Enjoy the read and her fantastic advice.

 

3 Tools to Ensure Your Exercise Is Actually Helping You Lose Fat

 

Thank you, Kate, for letting me take over your blog today! I love getting to talk about how to incorporate exercise that actually gets results (!!!), especially for women that have zero time, so this will be fun 😉

 

Many years ago, when I was in my early 20s working at my local Golds gym, over a 2-year time span, I saw something really interesting happen. At the time, I didn’t understand it, by now I do:

 

There was this woman who’d just started exercising when I joined, and her name was Sheryl.

 

Sheryl was pretty overweight when she began, but was showing up every day. And I remember being super impressed with her dedication and consistency.

 

She’d come in, get on the elliptical, sweat it out for an hour, then do some weight machines for about 20 minutes and then leave, red-faced, having worked her tail off. Man, I remember thinking, “She’s crushing it! It’s so impressive!”

 

It was at this same time that I was starting out in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, and teaching more fitness classes, getting into the gym early to get my own workout in before training clients and spending more and more time there as a professional.

 

So Sheryl and I would cross paths daily and I couldn’t help but notice she was losing weight like a champ. What she was doing was working!

 

I’d compliment her on her progress, tell her how impressed I was and try to offer a little encouragement to keep going (not that she needed it!).

 

Fast forward a year later and Sheryl had lost over 60 lbs. Amazing. She was still showing up every day, doing an hour of cardio or more and leaving a pool of sweat behind her.

 

But over the following 6 months, I couldn’t help but notice something happening …

 

Sheryl started increasing her cardio time. Sixty minutes turned into 90. And then occasionally I’d see her at the gym at night too, taking fitness classes. Same day, two sessions.

 

Huh.

 

And then, within another 6 months after that, I noticed that she’d started gaining weight again.

The weight was creeping back on. She was exercising morning and night every day. Cardio in the morning, plus weights. A group fitness class or two at night. And yet the weight was coming back on.

 

I felt really sad for Sheryl, because of all the hard work and time she was dedicating to something that was seemingly no longer working.

 

I remember feeling so confused by this.

 

Though I never personal trained Sheryl, we got close during my fitness classes, and I asked her about her nutrition. She admitted that she is hungry all the time. She said she’d even come to the gym at night for hours to just stay out of the house that much longer to avoid eating. She described what Jade, at Metabolic Effect, calls “Continuous Meal,” when you eat from the second you get home all the way until bed time. She’d try to be good during the week, but the weekend turned into a free-for-all.

 

Sheryl was stuck in a cardio cycle: eating more, and then feeling the need to do even more cardio to burn off calories, and then because of so much exercise, she’d end up eating more and more. Aaaaaand repeat.

 

Her metabolism was no longer in the way it did in the beginning.

 

Marathon workouts led to excessive compensatory calorie intake, which then gave way to even more exercise as a way to make up for it. And so on.

 

This is a huge trap that not only doesn’t work, but can be extremely damaging to the metabolism over the long haul.

 

More exercise doesn’t equal linearly better results ad infinitum.

 

Just because you are burning calories doesn’t mean you are losing fat every second.

 

Why? Because your body is not a math equation. Things like hormones affect how your body looks and how it functions, how hungry you are, how intense your craving are for sugary, fatty, salty foods, the quality of your sleep, how you deal with stress, how tired you feel, and more.

 

The things all impact results.

 

You can think of your metabolism like tires on a car. The more miles you put on it—from stressors like long-duration, moderate-intensity cardio, cutting calories, going for long periods without eating, and the sheer mental stress of being obsessed with your food and exercise every second—the more the tires wear down. There’s not as much traction. There’s not as much responsiveness.

 

Your metabolism doesn’t just run at 100% all the time regardless of inputs.

 

And doing more and more exercise to try to outwork it is not a sustainable input.

 

Think about Sheryl spending literally 3+ hours a day at the gym, only to continue getting zero results, and even backsliding.

 

This is tough, because often when we are at a place where we are doing a lot of exercise, it has happened gradually (like with Sheryl, adding a little more over months and months) so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when we became mentally dependent on it and physically less responsive to it.

 

The key is getting the body responsive again, so that exercise is working for you, and not against.

 

How? Three tools:

 

  • Less minutes and more intensity.

 

Intensity is the driver of results. Not duration.

 

Why intensity? Because of hormones. When we exercise, the body releases both catabolic hormones that break down fat and muscle (like cortisol and adrenaline). And also, if the intensity of the workout reaches a specific threshold, we release anabolic hormones, too (like growth hormone and testosterone).

 

The latter are potent metabolic drivers that help us burn even more fat after the workout is over. And yes, testosterone is even important for women! It’s the thing that helps us hang on to our muscle—which is the body’s tissue that burns the most calories at rest. We need it, especially as we get older, or it’ll be even harder to not gain weight.

 

For optimal intensity (and resultant fat loss and body change), the research shows that 40 minutes of exercise MAX is the place where the body creates that hormonal sweet spot, that optimal hormonal soup.

 

The shorter the workout, the more intensely you can exercise. Which is why I love the new #treadLIFT program that I just released. All 30 minutes or less.

 

  • Take more rest during your workout.

 

Rest and recovery, both within the workout and between workouts is the #1 thing that predicts how intense the workout will be.

 

Think about it: if you are giving yourself rest (like in the case of interval training or weight training, where you take time between exercises), you’re more likely to push harder. If I asked you to sprint a mile, you would automatically pace. But to sprint for 30 seconds, you’d probably go all out.

 

The most effective workouts for fat loss and body change include many 30 second (for example) repeated bouts of high intensity following by rest. Not just one single, long, steady-state cardio bout. That’s a pacing workout and if we are talking about changing your body, it’s both ineffective and unsustainable.

 

Give yourself rest within your workout (by using a technique like Rest-based Training that we employ in #treadLIFT, for example) to ensure that you can push harder: push, rest, push, rest, etc.

 

  • Realize that exercise impacts hunger and cravings.

 

This, again, is a hormonal issue.

 

Excessive and chronically high cortisol, as a result of doing long-duration moderate-intensity cardio like Sheryl was, will increase appetite and cravings. And especially for highly palatable foods high in sugar and dietary fat—the exact things that will negate all that calorie-burning in an instant.

 

Adding more and more cardio to your routine is not benign.

 

And while you might be burning more calories in the workout, your metabolism starts to lag and down-regulate. It doesn’t just keep responding the same way.

 

And compensatory responses in the form of not only hunger and cravings, but adrenal burnout, fatigue, overtraining, lack of motivation, decreased libido, and depression can also occur.

 

Life is too short to spend hours a day on an elliptical, especially when the results you’re after can be had in a quarter of the time with rest + intensity + management of hunger and cravings.

 

Keep things short and intense for best results.

 

If you don’t believe that you can get great results in only 30 minutes, you haven’t been doing the right modes of exercise! In #treadLIFT, I combine intense cardio with effective weight training, all packaged in 30 minutes.

 

TreadLIFTBanner-1024x284

 

#treadLIFT workouts are designed for fat burning, muscle building or cardiovascular performance, but all 36 workouts have one thing in common: they elicit the best results in the shortest amount of time. Guaranteed.

 

Get #treadLIFT this week only and join the hundreds of women who are already doing the workouts! Registration closes on Friday May 6th at midnight. Grab your copy HERE and start getting way more effective with your time in the gym.

 

Screen-Shot-2016-04-25-at-1.12.17-PM-1024x654

 

>>> GET TREADLIFT HERE http://bit.ly/rlfbykate_treadLIFT.

 

 

#treadLIFT

 

 

Stop struggling and make your workout work for you–here’s how.

Commercial Rubber Dumbbells

 

“…I was just changing out of my running shoes and into my lifting shoes (yes, I wear different shoes for different activities, lol) and they were loud. Very loud.

 

 

And it was all I could do to just change my shoes and not open my mouth–because I know that free advice is worth all you pay for it AND no one asked for my input.

 

It was still REALLY hard to shut up on this one.

 

One woman was complaining to the other that no matter what she did, her body just wouldn’t change.

 

  • That she had horrible genetics.
  • That she worked out TONS throughout the week–biking or spinning a few hours a week, running a bunch, then putting in long-duration efforts on the weekends–you’d think with all the calories she was burning, she’d lose more weight (her words)!
  • That she used to really follow a strict eating plan, but that after a while, she ‘just couldn’t hack it.’
  • That she was now considering adjusting her caloric intake, increasing it from 1200 calories because she wasn’t making any progress and she was starving all the time.

 

The one commiserated with the other. She just couldn’t, despite her best efforts, get her body to budge either….”

 

This was a real conversation I overheard in the locker room at the post gym in March of 2015 and wrote about in this blog post , but it’s a conversation I hear happening all the time: ‘I can’t get my weight/body fat to budge, so I’ll so more cardio’….OR ‘I’ve been doing so much cardio/so many classes/running so much and I STILL can’t lose weight/lose inches…’

 

Initially when we start working out, our bodies NEED that aerobic cardio base—and we need the gentle, repetitive movement that classically makes up cardio workouts (using the elliptical, going for jogs, riding the bike, using the stepmill) to help us condition our cardiovascular system AND help our muscles and connective tissues adapt to—get used to and handle well–the new workload.

 

This adaptation is important to respect: we can’t just hop off the couch and start doing HIIT or Insanity workouts suddenly without some kind of injury happening in the first couple of weeks; it’s just not how our bodies work, especially as we get into our 30s and above.

 

So longer, steady-state cardio is important and works well for us…at least in the beginning.

 

But after we’ve been doing the same kind of workouts for a while, workouts that use the same movement patterns without an increase in the workload (either speed or added resistance), our bodies get used to that amount of effort and they get more efficient.

 

And when the body gets more efficient, it means that it finds ways to do the same job with less effort—less effort translating to using fewer calories to do the same thing.

 

So we can spend the same amount of time on the elliptical or jog for 30 minutes and get fewer results after just a few months. Naturally, the instinct is to just make the workouts longer—if 30 minutes isn’t enough, then maybe 45…then maybe 60.  Then maybe 2 spin classes or step classes instead of just one…

 

 

What needs to change isn’t the length of the workout, but the intensity of the workout.

 

 

One of the greatest discoveries I ever made was the power of interval training, first through taking Coach Kitty’s (Katherine Kaufman) KUT class in Seattle way back in 2001, and then cementing the lesson while building my fitness and my body back up after baby #2 in 2008-2009.

 

 

When you’ve got two kids under 4, and only a limited amount of time to work out, you try to find the most economical ways to do it!

 

Enter: interval and circuit training.

 

 

First I used the 4:4 ratio, then as my fitness improved, I started using the 3:2 ratio and 2:1 ratio, which meant that I would work hard (what I like to call ‘huff and puff’) for the first # of minutes in the ratio, then recover at a slower pace for the second # in the ratio.

 

 

It was incredible how sweaty I got, how much faster the time went by, and how much leaner I got—in just a few weeks.

 

 

This effect was amplified when I added weights and some ‘sprint’ efforts in different workouts during the week, too!

 

 

Strength Training + (Cardio) Interval Training =

Best. Results. Ever.

 

IMG_0610

My current physique results–no flexing, no filters…and no makeup, lol!! Keepin’ it real….

 

 

In less time, with fewer aches and pains (repetitive cardio often yields repetitive aches and pains), and less impact on my overall appetite—because doing hours of cardio every week will make you HUNGRY.

 

 

This increase in appetite is not very helpful when your body is starting to burn fewer calories in those same hours of cardio workouts.

 

So how can you start to make your workouts, and cardio sessions, start working better for you—and spend less time at the gym, too??

 

 

 

By swapping out a couple of your current longer, steady-state cardio workouts or classes for interval training sessions. And by adding some short, intense strength training sessions or circuit training sessions to the mix, too.

 

 

 

==>If you’re still a newer exerciser or just getting back into exercising, starting with a 4:4 work: recover interval ratio will probably be best for you, and give your body time to adapt (2-4 weeks, generally). Because the work intervals are longer in the 4:4 than in the other intervals, the intensity will be lower—which means the impact is better controlled.

 

 

==>If you’re already pretty fit and looking to kick it up a notch, then you’ll want to try the 3:2 or 2:1 approach, which are a little more intense in nature—meaning more work in a shorter amount of time!

 

 

On a treadmill, a 3:2 approach might mean running at a fast pace for 3 minutes, then jogging for the next 2 OR it might mean walking up a really steep incline for 3 minutes, then reducing the incline for 2 (that’ll wake up the glutes—trust me!).

 

A 2:1 approach on the treadmill would be closer to a sprint effort—but not quite there. It usually means that you’ll run at a VERY fast pace for 2 minutes then jog for 1.

 

Repeat these intervals for 30 minutes, or whatever you have the time for, and cool down and stretch afterwards, and you have a sweet, short, EFFECTIVE workout under your belt.

 

 

 

One of the biggest perks of training intensely for shorter periods of time (as in 40 minutes or less per workout) is that it is so agreeable with our busy schedules and the demands of daily life.

 

 

 

 

These shorter, focused workouts keep us consistent with our workouts since they aren’t overwhelming.  They keep us feeling successful, and they lend to some pretty fantastic post-workout endorphin highs.

 

 

 

 

 

Intense effort workouts = the release of more happy hormones, which is why although some of my clients and class participants might not love how they feel during a sprint interval, HIIT session, or tough conditioning workout (because hard work is hard!), they are ALL smiles afterwards.

 

 

 

 

So if you’re someone who’s been struggling to get results doing long workouts, OR if you’re someone who’s turned off from going to the gym because it’s too time-consuming to get in a workout, then maybe it’s time to give interval and more intense circuit-style strength training a try.

 

I’m telling you, I’m getting the best results ever from shorter, more intense strength and cardio workouts—at 42 years old 🙂

 

 

Trainer Tip Tuesday: Pause Your Squat

Today’s Tip: Pause your squat.

 

 

 

To make your squats stronger, more comfortable and just all around better, add a pause to your squats during one of your workouts.

 

 

IMG_0506

 

 

It’s pretty easy and common to rush through our squats–especially if we’re doing them as part of a timed workout, in a class, or as part of a circuit.

 

 

And when we rush through our squats a couple of things can happen: we get a little sloppy and maybe develop some not-so-helpful habits/techniques, and we miss out on the opportunity to develop even more glute strength.

 

 

More glute strength = being able to squat more weight, build a stronger and tighter booty, and feel more powerful coming out of the bottom of the squat.

 

Plus, when we use more muscle, we build more muscle and that translates to more calorie-burning potential in our biggest muscle groups–even when we’re sleeping. Score!

 

 

 

To put the paused squat into practice, use a moderate weight (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells–doesn’t matter), tighten up your abs/pull the ribs down, and lower slowly with tension in your glutes–just like you always do, right?!?!

 

 

 

Once you hit the bottom of your squat, or end range of motion, hang out there for 1-3 breaths (start with one, work up to two or three).

 

 

kb frontsquat

While you’re sitting down there, you’ll quickly recognize any ‘cheats’ you’ve gotten used to using: relying too much on one leg, not keeping you abs tight enough, rolling the shoulders forward, arching the low back too much….

 

 

 

And the pause gives you time to make some of the needed ‘shifts’ to your form to clean it up so you can perform even better in the future!

 

 

 

To finish up your paused squat, try to stand as forcefully/explosively as possible and really squeeze your glutes tight once you’ve returned to full standing/start position.

 

 

 

My Functional Fitness class peeps did 5 rounds of 5 reps of paused front squats today and had really good results, so give it a shot during one of your next squat workouts!

 

 

Better form and tighter glutes await you…. 🙂

 

 

« Older Entries