TREADMILL TABATA WORKOUT

Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! You may have noticed I am a little obsessed with the Tabata protocol. Tabata is 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds totaling four minutes. I use them a lot on my Workout Wednesday posts, I use them at my bootcamps (great for group fitness!) and even in my own workouts. 

I must point out that a true Tabata is a near 100% effort for 20 seconds/followed by complete rest for 10 seconds. This is not exactly what we are doing here, so it is more of a play on the Tabata protocol, than an exact Tabata workout. 

If four minutes doesn't seem like enough of a workout for you, try doing burpees (or other intense exercise) during the 20 second work periods and see how you feel after four minutes. Hah. Otherwise, I stack them with a one minute rest period between each four minute Tabata.

This is a treadmill workout using my version of Tabata protocol. You can download a free Tabata timer app for your phone to easily track the intervals or use a (---> affiliate link) GymBoss timer like I do.

I don't like to assign speeds (mph) or paces to workouts published on this blog because everyone is so different. A 6.0 mph speed (10 minute mile pace) on the treadmill may feel like a leisurely jog to one person and be an all-out sprint to another. Always work at your own level. Please don't try to hit some arbitrary pace because a workout on Pinterest told you to. 

This is why I prefer the RPE chart. The RPE chart levels the playing field. Rate of Perceived Exertion allows you to work at the level that is appropriate for your fitness levels based on how you feel and your breathing rate. 

TREADMILL TABATA WORKOUT

MINUTES 1-4

Start by warming up for four steady minutes (no Tabata) at a 2-3 on the RPE chart. This is to get your blood circulating and prepare your body for a more intense workout. 

MINUTES 4-8

We will start to increase the intensity in this four minute Tabata. Choose a speed that will put you at a RPE 4-6. This may be a jog. You should be able to carry on a conversation at this pace. Cycle through the 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest protocol for four minutes. 

*During the rest intervals you can choose to lower the speed on the treadmill to a walking pace but with only 10 seconds to rest it doesn't give you much time for the belt to slow down before you need to speed back up into the work phase. Some people may choose to simply jump to the sides of the treadmill during the 10 second rest phase and let the belt roll. This could be dangerous, we don't want to fall off the back of the treadmill when we hop back on. Try at your own risk. I personally always choose to go with staying on the slowing belt during the rest. Safety first. 

MINUTES 8-9

Active rest at RPE 2-3 for one minute before starting your next cycle. This is usually a walk or very slow jog.

MINUTES 9-13

This cycle we are going to up the intensity a little more to a RPE 7-8 from the above chart. You should be working hard during the 20 second work intervals. 

MINUTES 13-14

Active rest at RPE 2-3 for one minute before starting your next cycle. 

MINUTES 14-18

This is your last high intensity cycle. Work at a RPE 7-8 again during the 20 second work intervals and RPE 2-3 during the 10 second rests. This is your last Tabata. Make it count. 

MINUTES 18-20

Cool down for at least two minutes by walking.

Give it a try! Like this post? Please consider sharing or saving to your favorite Pinterest workout board.

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

52 Healthy Habits: Eat More Protein

Welcome to the latest edition of 52 healthy habits when each week I work to establish a new healthy habit, because healthy habits are the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle.

You don't have to overhaul your whole life at once. Choose one small change and take the time to establish a new habit, building one small step at a time. Even if you already live a healthy lifestyle, there is always room for improvement and to take it to the next level. No matter where you are in your healthy living journey, establishing healthy habits can snowball into massive results. 

I saw this painted in the floor at the Rock 'n' Roll marathon health & fitness expo in Dallas on Saturday and I thought it summed up my healthy lifestyle philosophy perfectly.

(p.s. I am a rock 'n' blogger for the rock 'n' roll marathon races, so if you want to run a half or full marathon in 2017, you can use discount code RNB15 to save $15 off most of the races in the series.)

Last week I confessed that even though I am a personal trainer and huge proponent of strength training for runners, I have let my own strength training slide a bit. I have an injured shoulder and I am limited in what I am able to do. Instead of focusing on what I can't do, I decided to focus on what I can do (take my own advice, right?). I committed to just 15 minutes of strength training a day to get back on the wagon. Obviously, this will be largely lower body and core based as I can't put any pressure on my shoulder. 

I am happy to report that I did it three days last week, which is a great start! Sometimes we want to go from 0-6 days but it is not always realistic. I am happy with my start and I have plenty of room to grow and build on the three days from last week. This week I'll shoot for 4. 

EAT MORE PROTEIN

I may have mentioned that I am studying sports and exercise nutrition with Precision Nutrition. I have been studying hard and you can expect a lot more nutrition-based content coming in the future, plus nutrition coaching services coming soon.

My habit goal for next week is to increase my protein intake. I wasn't tracking my intake and when I started to track in My Fitness Pal I realized that my protein intake was lower than I thought. I generally eat a healthy diet and I assumed that since I eat a protein-centric meal at every meal (eggs, chicken, fish, etc.) that I was getting enough. But what is enough? Why do I need protein? What types of proteins should I be consuming? How much is too much? Let's dive in. 

WHY PROTEIN?

Protein or amino acids are the building blocks of our body. We use protein to break down and build up muscle and structure. Protein intake helps us preserve our lean muscle as we lose weight. (Remember our focus should always be on losing fat, not losing weight.) Protein helps us feel full longer and it has a higher thermodynamic effect, which means it take more energy for our bodies to process protein. We actually burn more calories just processing protein than we do processing carbohydrates or fats. 

HOW MUCH PROTEIN?

The National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends is 0.4 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (or .8 per kg) for the average sedentary person. But we're not sedentary (or average!), right? For athletes (yes, you are an athlete if you run or workout) protein requirements go up.

There are recommendations that are higher, but there is an upper limit of protein that our liver and kidneys can handle. If you are training hard or frequently increasing protein intake higher than these recommendations is probably safe for most healthy people, but consuming protein amounts double the recommendation on a regular basis is unnecessary (no added benefit) and possibly unsafe. As always, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian regarding any health concerns or when experimenting with a new diet or going outside general recommendations. 

WHAT TYPES OF PROTEIN?

OK, you know as an active person you need more protein than the average bear, but what foods are best? It is always ideal when making any nutritional choices to choose diverse, whole, less-processed foods. For protein this includes foods like lean meats including beef and pork, poultry like chicken and turkey, fish and seafood, dairy like cottage cheese and plain Greek yogurt, beans and tofu. 

SUPPLEMENTS

Once you get most of your protein from whole food sources, you may find you need to supplement protein in order to meet your daily requirements. I always suggest whole foods first, then supplement to fill in the gaps as it fits into your lifestyle. No time for breakfast? Then a morning shake with fruit, spinach and protein powder can be a great way to get in your nutrition as your run out the door. I use whey protein powders to supplement, but a vegetarian eater may prefer a plant-based protein like pea or hemp. Make the best choice possible for your own lifestyle and preferences.

ACTION PLAN

What's the plan? I always enter the foods I am going to eat for the day in the morning before I eat anything. Why? For one, it helps me plan ahead. What's that saying about failing to plan is planning to fail? Yeah, that one. In order to enter in my food for the day, I need to have a pretty good idea of what I am going to eat. I always end up editing as the day goes along, but it gives me an idea where I stand and if I need to make any adjustments to my day. You don't want to be looking at My Fitness Pal at 8PM and realizing you didn't get your protein for the day. (Actually, it's not the end of the world, you can just try again tomorrow.)

My protein intake plan looks a little like this (left out the non-protein items in my day, this is not everything I plan to eat):

Breakfast: 3 eggs

Snack: 1/2 cup of cottage cheese

Lunch: Grilled chicken

Afternoon snack: 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt mixed with a spoonful of chocolate protein powder

Dinner: Fish or Turkey

A word of warning on tracking if you're anything like me. I tend to have an all-or-nothing personality and I work really hard on balance. It's something I have to be aware of or else I can easily slip out of a healthy-balanced mindset. I track for a week or so to get an idea of where I stand, but I am careful not to let tracking take over my thoughts or actions. It's a good idea to see where you stand, it's a terrible idea to get obsessed with every morsel that goes into your mouth. Some people have no trouble with tracking, others can take it too far if they are not careful. Remember that our ultimate goal is a healthy life which includes a healthy body and mind. 

You can track by using an app like My Fitness Pal or you can just increase, if needed, by including more protein in your diet. It not so much about hitting the exact number of grams but finding the correct amount of protein to optimize your body. It just might take experimenting to find it. 

Let me know how it goes!

Playing catch up? Follow along with the 52 Healthy Habits series:

52 HEALTHY HABITS SERIES

week 1: Early to Rise
week 2: Track calories
week 3: Macro cycling
week 4: Morning pages (journaling)
week 5: Stop the scrolling (reading instead of social media)
week 6: Be a good student (take time for learning) 
week 7: Strength Training 15 minutes per day   

Like this post? Please consider sharing. 

 

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

5 WAYS TO SPRING CLEAN YOUR WORKOUT

Just like the dust on your wooden blinds* or the stale bread in back of your fridge, sometimes you need to pick up, dust off and maybe even purge your workouts. If you've been doing the same workouts all winter (or not working out much at all) it may be time to spring clean your workout to get a fresh start for Spring. 

*Any resemblance to real life regarding dust on blinds is purely coincidental and may not reflect actual blinds in my house. hah.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link in the post and make a purchase, I make a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. No one is getting rich here, it just helps with the running (pun intended) of this blog. 

5 WAYS TO SPRING CLEAN YOUR WORKOUT

CHANGE IT UP

Just like you might change out your bed sheets or curtains for a spring variety, now is the perfect time to make changes to your exercise routine. Doing the same things over and over again can stall progress and even could cause repetitive or overuse injuries. Use the new season as an excuse to try some new things. If you're a runner, try a Barre class. If you lift weights, you might benefit from the mobility of Yoga. Find something that interests you and compliments your current exercise routine. Sprinkle in some workouts to move your body in new ways and keep things interesting. 

PROGRESS FORWARD

Spring is a great time to upgrade our workouts. Our body adapts to the stresses that we place upon it. This means if you have been doing the same workout all winter long, your body has probably has gotten very efficient at it. It sounds like a good thing, to be efficient, but your body is not working as hard as it once was so you may not be burning as many calories or getting stronger like you once were with the same workout. While I won't recommend jumping from one exercise program to another every month, because consistency is key, it is always a good idea to keep progressing forward.

How do you progress? You can increase time, intensity or load. Which means you could add an extra day, do more reps, increase the difficulty of the exercise (single leg exercises instead of two legs), increase the weight, increase the time working out overall or decrease the rest time between sets or intervals. The idea is to challenge yourself in a new way so that you keep moving forward in your journey. Need help with this? I'd love to help

PURGE 

When you spring clean you may go through your drawers, book shelves and closets to purge the things that are taking up space and no longer serving you. Review your progress from your winter. routine. How did it go? Are you better than you were at the start of the winter? Or just chugging along? Are you getting closer to your goals? Are you tracking progress? Examine what is working for you and what is not working. If you are running and keep getting injured, it may be time to scale back the miles and add in some strength or cross training. If you feel tired all the time, you may need to increase your rest days or sleep habits. If you haven't been consistent enough, then it may be time to review your daily habits. Spring is a great time to toss away the things that aren't working for you and start fresh. 

GET SOME FRESH AIR

Open those windows of opportunity and let in the fresh air. If you've been trapped on a treadmill or in the gym all winter, then spring offers the perfect perfect chance for a change of scenery. Take advantage of the mild weather to get outdoors to get some fresh air. Whether it's a jog in the park, on the trails or an outdoor bootcamp, getting outdoors can breathe some fresh air into your workouts. Give my park bench workout a try.

FRESHEN UP 

You may buy new curtains for spring, but I will buy some fun new workout clothes! Nothing says spring cleaning like tossing some of that old workout gear that has lost its luster and freshen up with new patterns and colors. Here are some fun spring colors and funky patterns to add some pizazz to your workout gear. 

Let's go! Let's take advantage of a fresh new season to get moving towards our goals. 

Like this post? It helps me when you share or save to Pinterest.

 

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF PARK WITH THIS PARK BENCH WORKOUT

Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! Spring is in the air and it's a great time to get outdoors, get some fresh air and get in a workout. You don't need a stuffy gym membership to get in shape, all you need is your own bodyweight and a park bench for this challenging full body workout! Get your butt out of park with this park bench workout.

Are you a runner? This is a fantastic strength workout to do on the trails. Go through the circuit once every mile for 3 miles or add a quick running component of 1/4 mile run between circuits. 

I recruited my trusty blog photographer (aka hubs) and my favorite four-legged running partner (aka Ollie) to find a park bench in Fort Worth to do my workout. 

Welcome to Fort Worth!

Welcome to Fort Worth!

PARK BENCH WORKOUT

This is a circuit-style workout. Do 12 reps of each exercise, move through the circuit with little or no rest between exercises. Once you complete the 6 exercises, rest for one minute and repeat 2 more times. Always warm up before beginning an intense exercise session. 

Park Bench Workout - save to your favorite Pinterest board

Park Bench Workout - save to your favorite Pinterest board

STEP UP (EACH LEG)

Stand facing the bench. Starting with your right leg step up on the bench pressing your weight into your heel. Lift your left leg off the ground and drive your knee up towards your chest. Step your left leg back to the ground, followed by your right leg. Repeat on other leg. Do 12 reps on each leg. 

 

INCLINE PUSH UP

Start in a straight arm high plank position with your hands on the bench. Keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your toes, do not allow your hips to raise in the air or sag down. While engaging your core muscles, bend your elbows to lower your chest to the bench. 

If this is too challenging, try it by starting on the back of the bench.

TRICEP DIP

Position your hands shoulder width apart behind you on the bench. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the ground until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle while keeping your back close to the bench. From the low position, straighten your elbows to return to the starting position. Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. If this is too challenging you can bend your legs to modify the exercise.

SQUAT JUMP

I also call this one "hot bench." Starting with your feet hip width apart push your hips back and lower your body until your butt hits the bench. As soon as you touch the bench jump up as if the bench was hot. Land in a soft position with your knees slightly bent and repeat 12 times. This will get your heart rate up!

"hot bench"

"hot bench"

Jump

Jump

LATERAL STEP 

We runners need to make sure we are building strength in all planes of motion. When we run, we just move forward, so building strength laterally improves our hip stability and helps reduce the chance of injury. 

Stand sideways to the bench. Starting with your right leg and take a wide step up on the bench, ensuring there will be enough room on the bench for both feet. Driving your right heel into the bench lift your left leg off the ground and onto the bench. Step back down one leg at a time. Repeat 12 times and face the other direction to lead with the left leg for 12 more reps. 

lateral step up
Ollie photo bomb.

Ollie photo bomb.

SPLIT LEG LUNGE

Single leg exercises are important for runners. When we run, we essentially are balancing on one leg at time repeatedly over the miles. Building unilateral (single side) strength helps our running strength and performance.

Start by facing away from the bench. Prop your right leg up on the bench behind you. Position your body so that when your left leg lowers into a lunge position that your knee is over your ankle and your left thigh is parallel to the ground. Perform 12 reps and repeat on opposite leg. 

If you want to add an additional cardio component to your workout, add a quarter mile (or 2.5 minute) run in between circuits, Ollie loves to run!

Things started to get silly. 

Things started to get silly. 

Go find a park bench and give this workout a try! 

Like this post? It helps me when you share or save to your favorite Pinterest board

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

 

 

52 Healthy Habits Week 7: Strength Training 15 Minutes a Day

Welcome to the latest edition of 52 Healthy habits. Each week I work to conquer a new healthy habit. A healthy lifestyle is all about sustainable habits, so I look for ways that I can make small improvements in my life so I can continue to progress forward. 

I try to adopt new healthy habits but I am not always perfect or successful. I know I will fall down some weeks and then get back up. This series gives me some accountability to try new things and then report back with how it went. What new healthy habits are you trying to conquer? 

We are on week 7 and I have already had some successes and failures. I am working on getting up early, reading instead of social media, journaling, macro cycling and studying for my nutrition certification. All are going well with varying levels of success and commitment. 

I was struggling since November to get back on track with studying for my Precision Nutrition certification and last week I found an online accountability buddy. We talked on the phone and I made the commitment to get through two more chapters in the text and made arrangements for a follow up chat this week.

I did so well that I am mad at myself for waiting so long to get going again. I spent an hour or two every night and flew through the material at a faster rate than expected. The accountability buddy got me going, but honestly, I don't even feel like I need one anymore. I just needed the kick in the butt to get started. Now that I am on a roll, I am good.

It always to harder to start something than to keep going. It's so much easier once the momentum gets rolling. Keep this in mind with whatever you are want to start. Don't wait, just start. It gets easier as you go.

 

WEEK 7: STRENGTH TRAINING 15 MINUTES A DAY

Confession time: You might be surprised if I tell you that I haven't worked out much in 2017. My husband and I walk once or twice a day and I always get 10k steps a day, but as far as traditional workouts go? Zip. Nada.

Yes. Me. The Personal Trainer. Even trainers can fall off the wagon. We're human. It's life. I blinked and it's mid March. 

I have a reason (aka excuse). I hurt my shoulder last year and my doctor told me not to lift weights and take it easy with the running (because the swinging arm motion can irritate my injured shoulder). I am a big fan of listening to my body and especially, my doctor, but there is no reason why I can't do bodyweight leg exercises, core exercises and most mobility work. No reason except it wasn't my usual routine and I was frustrated with my shoulder situation. Instead of doing what I could do, I did much less than usual. I've done occasional workouts, but haven't been consistent at all. I was focusing on just moving, now it's time to bring the strength component back. (I am also starting to see a physical therapist for my shoulder.)

I am committing to at least 15 minutes a day of some type of strength training workout on top of my daily walks and steps. At least 15 minutes. Just like my studying, once I get on the roll again with my 15 minutes a day, it will snowball into longer, more consistent workouts. I need to baby my shoulder, but I see a lot of leg and core work in my future. 

You don't have to jump into one hour workouts six days a week. Start small. Establish a habit. Build slowly. It only takes a small time commitment to get started. 

What are your goals for the upcoming week? Won't you join me in adopting a new healthy habit? 

52 Healthy Habits Series

week 1: Early to Rise
week 2: Track calories
week 3: Macro cycling
week 4: Morning pages (journaling)
week 5: Stop the scrolling (reading instead of social media)
week 6: Be a good student (take time for learning)

Like this post? Please consider sharing

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

 

 

Why It's OK to Hate Exercise and What's Not OK.

I love to workout. Truly. Running is my sanctuary, my meditation and my alone time. Weightlifting and even bodyweight exercises make me feel strong and confident. Exercise can feel hard and sometimes it sucks, but I love it for exactly what it is. It pushes me outside my comfort zone, it forces me to grow, it builds mental and physical strength and makes me a better person. 

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on a link in the post and make a purchase I make a small commission on the sale with no additional cost to you. No one is getting rich from this, it just helps with the costs associated with running (pun intended) of this blog.

I wasn't always this way. When I was 15 I worked at Dairy Queen. It was an awesome job for teenage-me because I could eat all the ice cream I wanted back when my metabolism could handle eating all the ice cream I wanted. The owner of the Dairy Queen is a family friend and my friend on Facebook. A couple years ago when I was taking my RRCA run coaching certification course, she commented:

"I'm getting tired just reading about how much you run. I still can't believe this is the same Lea who worried she would break a sweat cleaning the Blizzard machine."

Yeah, sometimes I can't believe it either. I hated exercise. In my defense though, cleaning the Blizzard machine sucked. I never worked out back in those days or in the decade and a half that followed. My parents made me play softball and it was my own personal hell. I played tennis in high school and while I was never mistaken for being athletic, I excelled at playing singles. What can I say? Solo sports are my jam. (I don't know why I'm using slang from the 90s.)

I didn't figure out that I loved running (and other exercise) at least until my 30s. I think they call that AORS 'Adult Onset Running Syndrome.' Hah. I never liked exercise, so when people tell me, the trainer and running coach, that they hate to exercise, trust me when I say that I understand. I get it. I was right there too. 

I could waste my breath trying to convince non-exercisers that exercising is amazing. I can try to convert the non-believers, but nothing I say will change their minds until they experience that breakthrough for themselves. I can't tell people how to feel and what to enjoy. I can make suggestions and offer new experiences to try. I can (and do) encourage people to get out of their comfort zones and try new things. How do you know you if you love or hate something until you've tried it for awhile?

I am here to tell you that it is totally OK to hate exercise. Really. Traditional exercise is not for everyone. I do want everyone to see it my way, that exercise is the secret to happiness, but we are all different, with different lifestyles and perspectives. 

You know what is not OK? A sedentary lifestyle. You don't have to adopt a traditional exercise routine, you just need to start to move your body to get your heart rate up in a way that fits into your lifestyle.

To be fair, exercise is a broad term. If you think exercise means lifting weights in the gym or running a marathon and neither of those things appeal to you, then you might tell yourself you hate exercise. You're allowed to hate exercise but you still must move your body. Maybe you like dancing, or Zumba, or bike riding, or rock climbing, or walking, or hiking, or swimming, or pogo sticks, or trampolines. It's about opening up your mind to new ways to move. Some people play sports (I hate team sports and that's OK too.)

I wear a Fitbit (if you want to add me as a friend, find my email address here). I work to get 10K steps a day every day that I am physically able (most days unless I am sick or hurt). When I hurt my shoulder and the doctor told me to back off from running and lifting weights to allow my shoulder to heal (wahh) my exercise routine took a big hit, but I never stopped moving. I easily maintained my weight without traditional exercise by paying extra attention to my nutrition and taking daily walks. That's it.

I challenge you to change the way you frame exercise in your mind. Instead of "I hate exercise" think about about seeking out a new way to move your body that you love or at least can tolerate. 

Most people won't stick to something they hate for long enough time to make a health impact. Move your body. Love your body. Find that connection and just move. 

Define exercise in a way that appeals to you and you will never hate exercise again.

It's OK to hate exercise, it's not OK to not move.

Like this post? It helps me when you share!

 

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 MINUTE STRENGTH & CARDIO TABATA-STYLE WORKOUT

Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! This week we are doing a 20 minute Tabata-style strength and cardio workout! I love the Tabata protocol, which is 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest for four minutes, because you can always knock out a high intensity 4 minute workout for when you're busy or you combine several Tabatas together for a longer workout. 

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link in the post and make a purchase, I make a small percentage of the sale with no additional cost to you. No one is getting rich, it just helps with the cost associated with running (pun intended) of this blog. 

This week we are combining a strength move and a cardio move for each four minute circuit. 

20 seconds strength move
10 seconds rest
20 seconds cardio move
10 seconds rest

Repeat for four minutes. Then rest for one minute before moving to the next circuit.

You can download a free Tabata timer app on your phone. I use a GymBoss timer because you manipulate the intervals and rest periods. 

Always spend 5-15 minutes warming up before an intense exercise session. Remember you get out of it what you get into it. Work hard and move quickly, while maintaining proper form, for the best results. Your heart should be pumping! 

Like this post? It helps me when you share or save to Pinterest.

 

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

52 Healthy Habits Week 6: Be a Good Student

Welcome to the latest edition of 52 healthy habits, when each week I attempt to tackle a new small lifestyle habit in order to improve in life one small way at a time. Sometimes I do well, sometimes I massively fail, but it's the trying that counts. 

I was down and out last week with the flu so I didn't do anything except rest and recover which is exactly what I am supposed to do when I am sick. Go me. Success. 

Honestly after sleeping late for a week due to the flu, it was a challenge to get up early again once I was feeling better. I shut the alarm off a few times during the week, but I did get up early on Saturday. Go figure. 

I haven't been doing great on morning pages either. It's weird. The more I feel like I have to get off my chest, the more thoughts that are swirling around in my head, the less I want to write it down. It's almost like I am scared to put in on paper in fear that someone else will read it. I prefer to keep my crazy locked up in my brain. But I think this is the point. Get it out. No one is going through my things. Either that I will write it then walk out in the back yard and set it on fire. hah.

I am back on track with my macro cycling. Obviously when I was sick, I wasn't tracking my food. I am weird, though. I never lose my appetite, even when I am sick. I think I ate more when I was sick just because I was home more often and bored. Hubby made me his famous grilled cheese that has a layer of cream cheese in between the cheese slices. Comfort food. Yum. 

NUTRITION STUDY

Speaking of cream cheese sandwiches, I may have mentioned that I am studying Sports and Exercise Nutrition with Precision Nutrition. When I say studying I really mean I haven't done $hit with it since November. It's a great online program, that requires reading a chapter in the textbook, watching online videos, completing workbook questions, then taking an online chapter quiz. I was moving through it about one chapter a week before Thanksgiving then completely fell off the wagon. 

One of the reasons that nutrition study is so important to me is that shortly after becoming a trainer and a running coach I realized that physical training is nearly ineffective unless the nutritional component is in place. No matter what the clients goals are, whether fat loss, sports or running performance, I can't effectively help someone unless I can also help them with nutrition.

Now I know nutrition in the sense that I know what works for me. That's not enough. Everybody is different and can respond differently. The least effective coaches in my opinion are the ones that say 'it worked for me, do what I do.' Anyone can tell people to eat whole natural foods. That doesn't qualify a person to coach nutrition. So I wanted to dig in learn more about nutritional science. I can tell my clients they need protein to build muscle or carbohydrates for sports performance, but I needed a deeper understanding of the science. Enter Precision Nutrition, one of the most respected online nutrition study programs. 

When I finish this program I can call myself a nutrition coach and frankly, I can call myself a nutrition coach today. There are not any state or legal requirements around this title. The certification is for my own knowledge so that I can offer the best science-based coaching possible. Nutritionist and nutrition coach are different than Registered Dietitian (RD) which requires licensing from the state. The difference is that as a nutrition coach, I am permitted to coach people on the basics of nutrition. I am not permitted to tell people exactly what to eat or attempt to treat any condition with food (including obesity). In other words, It is outside of my scope of practice to write meal plans to help you lose weight, but I am permitted help educate you on macro nutrients, micro nutrients, daily calorie intake, portion sizes, food choices, food quality, nutritional labels, food shopping and whatever science you care to know.

I want to finish this program so I can more effectively coach my clients using nutrition as the base for most fitness and health related goals. Yes, exercise is important, but nutrition is crucial. Get your nutrition on track first, then build on that with strength and cardiovascular training. 

ACCOUNTABILITY IS KEY

So what's the problem? I simply have not been putting in the work. So I decided it was time to take my own advice. I am always telling clients and readers to find an accountability partner in order to reach their goals. We often feel more accountable to other people than we do ourselves. I joined a Facebook group of Precision Nutrition students and found an accountability partner. We were in about the same place in our studies, so we decided we would talk once a week to hold each other accountable. We had our first call this week and talked about what we planned to complete within the week. I am going to get through two chapters by next Monday when we have a phone date to speak again. I know there is no way I am going to let myself fall short of this goal. I am sure she is going to do what she promised, so I need to hold up my end of the bargain.

This is a brilliant strategy for getting things done. This person is a total stranger to me that has a similar goal. You can find your own accountability partner to reach your goals. It can be a family member, a friend or a facebook buddy. Just having someone to check it with each week who will give you $hit if you don't do what you said can be the difference between success and failure. I love when I take my own advice. I am excited about my new study buddy and I already cracked open the book and am deep in the latest chapter.

I'll say that I am marketing gal so science is hard for me but I know I am smart and with some dedication, consistency and accountability, I can achieve any goal. AND SO CAN YOU.

What are your goals for the week? Let me know in the comments, then check back in a week and tell me how you did. That's accountability.

Like this post? It helps me when you share.

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

Do You and Fitness Have a Commitment Problem?

Now that the lovey dovey Valentine's Day talk is over, let's talk about an important topic: Commitment. Are you committed? Often we fall in love with the idea of working out, get excited, make big plans and then fail to follow through. Once the excitement wears off and reality of the hard work sets in we give up and move on. Just like a love that loses it sizzle, we get bored and start looking for the next thing. How can we stay committed when we want a lasting relationship with fitness?

I'm not going to pretend that I am always motivated. I'm just like you. I have a job, a small business, home responsibilities, a blog (or two) and a social life (just kidding about that last one). I sometimes feel tired, skip workouts or tell myself "I'll get back on track tomorrow." It happens, even to trainers, but I do make movement and nutrition a priority in my life. That means that even if I don't get in a traditional workout, I make sure I am still moving and feeding myself properly to ensure I look, feel and perform my best. I hold myself to high standards but I don't allow negative self-talk if I fall short. I do the best I can with what I have.

There are some strategies you can put in place to ensure you stick to your fitness goals long after the honeymoon is over, for a lifelong commitment to health and fitness. 

COMMIT TO FIT

SCHEDULE IT

Put it on your calendar, just like you would for a doctor's appointment or a dinner date. I find that if I schedule my workout for first thing in the morning it is less likely to get brushed off. I like getting my workout or a long walk done before life gets in the way. 

MAKE IT FUN

Fitness doesn't have to be 3 sets of 12 reps on each major muscle three times a week. If that sounds boring, do something else. Find a way to move your body that is fun for you and commit to it. Dancing, running, climbing and playing all count. You probably wouldn't continue to date someone who bored you to tears, would you? Find an exercise that you love to make it last. 

FIND A PARTNER

Having a workout partner can go a long way in staying committed to our goals. The truth is we often feel more accountable to other people than we do ourselves. If we know someone is counting on us to show up we don't want to let them down. If you don't have a friend or partner that is into fitness don't give up hope. Look for community events on MeetUp, join a local class, hire a coach or look for accountability partners online. 

TAKE BABY STEPS

Start small and build the habit first. 15 minutes a day of exercise is always better than an hour you didn't do. Commit to just 15 minutes a day. Do it until it becomes routine. You have the rest of your life to grow, it is ok to start small. Besides, more is not always better in exercise. Short focused sessions can be sustainable over a lifetime. Take it slow, get to know what works best for you.

SET GOALS

If you are working towards a goal, say your first 5k or half marathon PR, it gives you the reason to keep putting in the work every day, long after the excitement of a new workout plan has worn off.

If we want our love of fitness to last a lifetime we have to implement sustainable strategies and work hard to make it last, just like any good relationship.

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

ROLL THE DICE WORKOUT AND GIVEAWAY

Here it is Workout wednesday and I have the flu. I am resting, hydrating and surviving on Tamiflu. I don't believe in pushing through workouts when I'm sick or feeling under the weather. I need to rest to allow my body to recover. Any available energy should be used to fight off infection and recover. I'm not worried about working out or even getting my daily 10k steps. I will get back to it as soon as I feel healthy again, but for now, I am down and out. (Let the internet sympathy ensue.)

This week for Workout Wednesday you won't see me in any workout pictures (you're welcome). Instead, I am giving away this fun fitness dice* that I found at Five Below and sharing a dice workout you can do at home even if you don't win the giveaway! 

* The giveaway is for one (1) die. 

I think it is a really fun way to get in a quick workout when you want to shake up your regular routine. Set the timer for 20 minutes and start rolling. I use these in bootcamp to break up the circuits and they are always fun! 

THE GIVEAWAY: ENTER TO WIN

Please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter to win. Complete at least one entry to enter to win, complete multiple entries for more chances. 

Open to US residents 18 years old and up
Must have a shipping address in the United States
Giveaway runs from March 1 and ends Match 8 2017
One winner will receive the prize of one (1) foam fitness die
Lea Genders Fitness paid for prize and will pay for USPS shipping to winner
Prize will be shipped within 7 days of winner confirmation of shipping address
Winner must claim prize and respond with shipping address within 48 business hours of announcement or alternate winner will be selected
Winner will be emailed directly and announced on this post
Winner must enter on Rafflecopter and follow all rules
All entries will be verified as completed. Any entry not completed will disqualify winner and new winner will be drawn
Void where prohibited
Good Luck
 

THE WORKOUT: LET'S ROLL

There is just one winner and not everyone will be able to win this prize today, or you might have found this post after the giveaway is over, but you can still do the workout! You could go to Five Below in your area and look for the foam fitness dice or you can use regular dice and assign each number to an exercise. Use one red die, one black die and follow the chart below. Alternate between the black die for strength exercises and the red die for cardio. Set the timer for 20 minutes and let's roll! Spend 5-15 minutes warming up before beginning.

Pin this to your favorite workout board to save for later!

Pin this to your favorite workout board to save for later!

Like this post? It helps me when you share.

 

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

Running Journal Free Printable Download

If you've been following along you may have read that I had the flu. Cue internet sympathy. Wait? No one cares? Oh yeah. hah.

My eyes stared at the blank MacBook Air screen as I lied on the couch covered in my favorite leopard print blanket (aka Alison), but my foggy flu brain wasn't cooperating. I was easily distracted by Facebook, Netflix (Walking Dead marathon) and coughing fits. I just couldn't pull it together enough to write my usual blog posts for the week. Lucky for me I was working on another printable this week before I got sick, this time a run journal. We'll get back to 52 Healthy Habits next Monday (spoil alert: I was sick so no habits were established) so this week I want to share my new printable with you.

It can be beneficial to journal your runs, not only to track your miles (because most of us have watches and apps that do that) but to track how you feel and how you performed.

Since I am a blogger and a writer at heart it is very natural for me to journal my runs. I don't write a novel each time, but I take note of how many miles I ran, how I felt, what the weather was like, how I slept the night before and what I ate surrounding my run. It's amazing to see how those things can affect your run. Once you start to track these details certain trends may start to emerge.

I like to journal so I can look back and see how far I've come. I seem to forget every summer that the brutal Texas heat takes at least a minute off my pace and then I wonder why I am so slow. The weather can make a big difference! When I journal I can look at my runs from last summer to compare rather than runs during the cooler spring temperatures.

I made this weekly journal that you can print out and jot down notes after your run. 

Enter your email below to get the PDF version to print out.

Enter your email below to get the PDF version to print out.

WEEKLY GOAL

It's a good idea to establish a goal for the week. It may be to run three times or a certain number of miles or hit a certain pace, but writing in down and looking over it each day goes a long way on the road to achieving it.

PERSONAL RECORDS

This is a place to record your personal records (your fastest finishing time) for 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon and full marathon. If you haven't ran these distances you could use this space to record your goal race dates.

DAILY MILES AND PACE

Jot down the number of miles you ran, your pace or how long it took you to complete. At the bottom of the weekly miles there is a space to record your month-to-date and year-to-date miles.

FEEL | WEATHER | FUEL | SLEEP

Just a quick word or two on how you felt during the run, what the weather was like, how you ate and how you slept the night before. 

WEEKLY NOTES

Make any notes here during the week or at the end at the week in reflection.

RUNNING SHOES

I like to rotate between two pairs of shoes which makes it harder to keep track of the miles on each pair. Most people need to replace their running shoes every 300-600 miles, depending on type of use (trail runners may need to replace sooner), your weight and other factors. You usually can tell when you need to replace your shoes by the cushioning and the tread, but it's a good idea to have some awareness of how many miles on your shoes. Use this space to keep a running total of the miles on your shoes. 

REFLECTION

Take a minute and reflect on your best, your longes, your fastest and your hardest run of the week. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for another successful week. 

Ready? Set? Get it. 

Like this post? Please consider sharing. 

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.