Top 3 mistakes we make when setting a fitness goal

As soon as the calendars turn to January, our minds turn to setting resolutions – don’t they? We want so much to make a change and to make this year somehow different by setting the right fitness goal. So we start the month with the best of intentions:

-Buy new shoes so that we can run more regularly. 

-Set our alarms to workout before work every morning. 

-Have audacious goals of losing X lbs/fitting into that pair of jeans.

-Download a new workout program from FitnessBlender to do at home. 

Even with all of that planning and preparation, most of our new year’s resolutions inevitably fail. And as a coach and trainer (work with me for free!), I work with women to help them actually reach their fitness goals.

I’ve found that most fitness goals fail because of motivation (see allllll about that here and here) or three simple mistakes that we make when we are taking the first steps toward our goals.

If your fitness goal involves getting more consistent with your workouts, losing body fat, and learning to workout at home, #StressFreeStrength – my free fitness challenge starting next week – could be a great fit for you. 

Today, I’m walking you through these three mistakes so that you can NOT make them and be successful in reaching your fitness goals.

3 things NOT to do when setting a fitness goal

If you're setting a fitness goal in 2018, make sure you're not making one of these 3 mistakes.  fitness goal list - fitness goal motivation - fitness goal for women - realistic fitness goal

Sign up for the gym

We never seem to have enough time to actually get in our workouts, because there are a thousand things to do. We plan to head to the gym at lunchtime. Before we know it, we look down at your phone and it’s already 12:30pm, thirty minutes after we should have left. Anxiety fills our stomachs, because we know our workout is gonna take a full hour. We mentally count how much time it’d take to change, get to the gym, and fit in the workout. With the next meeting at 2:00pm, getting in a workout seems impossible, so we skip it. When we’re finally walking to our car at the end of the day, we’re frustrated and just a little guilty. We’re not just frustrated because we missed a workout but because we had planned to do it all along but ran out of time.

Sound familiar?

But what if I told you that your motivation isn’t actually the problem.

The gym is the problem.

Here’s the thing. The gym is a fabulous tool for working out. It’s a place where we can meet other likeminded people and have access to cool equipment (love me a squat rack and 12 different KB weights), but it is NOT the only tool. And it is not what’s gonna get you the results you’re looking for.

Results come from consistent, effective workouts (like those in #StressFreeStrength), NOT going to the gym.

So if you’ve got a gym membership or ClassPass subscription that you’re not using because you’re too busy and you’ve been missing workouts, join #StressFreeStrength with me!

Go at it alone

Whenever I talk with women who are trying to lose weight/get more consistent/change their bodies, I always ask one question:

Who is on this journey with you?

So often, the answer is no one. We try to hold ourselves accountable and keep ourselves motivated alone. This is REALLY hard to do.

If we don’t have social support in place when trying to reach a fitness goal, we are setting ourselves up to fail. We NEED people in our corner. We desperately NEED accountability.

This is why I am not offering another free, downloadable workout program to help you reach your 2018 fitness goals. I see so many other online programs not offering support or community. You download the program, read the emails, and you’re off on your own. Not in #StressFreeStrength. You’ll have access to me and a group of women with like-minded women with the same goals so that you feel supported and accountable from day 1. This is the secret sauce that’s gonna help you reach your goals once and for all.

Aim for 60 minute workouts

For years, I believed that I had to exercise for an hour in order for it to *count.* If I couldn’t get in a 60 minute sweat sesh, I’d skip my workout.

I remember waking up late for class in college and realizing I didn’t have enough time for my crazy long workout session. Instead of throwing on my shoes and doing a quick bodyweight circuit in my dorm, I huffed off to class, feeling like a failure.

And that’s so common, isn’t it? We get down on ourselves and feel guilty when we can’t fit in that hour long workout, regardless of the circumstances. 

We gotta get our minds right and reset our expectations.

Before implementing shorter workouts, I’d feel overwhelmed by the amount of time it’d take to complete a workout. On days where I didn’t have at least an hour to devote to working out, I’d just skip it and make myself eat less to “make up for” my missed workout. Now, I’ve cut my workout time in half without compromising results.

So many women STILL believe that more is always better, so they stress about getting in 60 minute gym workouts. If they’re not able to fit in those long ass workouts, they’re beating themselves up, anxious, and forcing themselves eat less to make up for it.

This is an awful cycle that’s keeping us from reaching our goals. What most of us miss is that trying to complete long workouts is actually making us fatter in the long run. So, instead, I recommend short workouts doable at home – exactly like I programmed for #StressFreeStrength – my free fitness accountability challenge starting on January 20! Claim your free spot here. 

With knowledge of these simple mistakes, you’re on the right track to reaching your 2018 fitness goal! If you want support and a jumpstart, grab your spot for #StressFreeStrength before sign ups close on January 19!

New Year’s Workout – 2018

Happy 2018, my lovely friends! I hope you had a fantastic holiday weekend! Juno and I hung out on Saturday, and I spent New Year’s Eve out with my best friend (shenanigans on Instagram). But now that we are officially into 2018 and ready to take on the new year, I figured it was only fitting to share a new year’s workout!

So many of us want to get back on track after the holidays and one of the best ways to do that is by simply incorporating, short, sweet metabolic workouts (like this one). In preparation for my winter #StressFreeStrength challenge (starting Saturday January 20!), I’m sharing a fun, effective workout, playing off our new year – 2018.

Your New Year’s Workout

Today’s workout is using a set of moderate dumbbells to work your entire body. If you don’t have any equipment, grab a backpack or work bag and fill it with books. You can use this as a makeshift sandbag.

For this workout, we’ll be incorporating Metabolic Effect’s Rest Based Training (RBT) principle (see more here). With RBT, we work as hard as we possibly can for the prescribed interval, resting only as needed.

This workout’s structure is a little different than my other HIIT workouts, because we are playing on the new year – 2018 (this format was inspired by my Halloween workout). Instead of working on an interval timer, we are performing two rounds of five exercises.

Round 1: 20 reps

Round 2: 18 reps

See what I did there!

HNY! In honor of 2018, we've got a brand new, real time full body workout to get us off to the right start. Check it out! New Year's Workout - New Year's Gym Workout - New Year's Exercise Workout

Keep in mind that both rounds are going to be TOUGH – with the rep range helping you build endurance. Instead of pacing yourself, break the round into sets so you can go as hard as possible. If you’re looking for guidance of how hard to push and for form cues, join me! We can work out together below.

If you’re loving this workout and want more short, effective home workouts, #StressFreeStrength is for you!

And honestly, that’s why I felt obligated to create #StressFreeStrength, a 10-day workout challenge to help you get stronger, leaner, and more consistent without any stress, shame, or obsession over the process.

Here’s the thing. So many women STILL believe that more is always better, so they stress about getting in 60 minute gym workouts. If they’re not able to fit in those long ass workouts, they’re beating themselves up, anxious, and forcing themselves eat less to make up for it.

This is an awful cycle that’s keeping us from reaching our goals. What most of us miss is that trying to complete long workouts is actually making us fatter.

Why? We are: 

-Less consistent

-More stressed because fitting in long workouts is tough

-Cheating ourselves on intensity.

#StressFreeStrength is unique, because I’m gonna show you exactly how to structure your workouts in a way that keeps you from getting stressed out. The goal is to crush 8 workouts (all 30 minutes or less and doable at home) over 10 days, and every lady who completes all 8 will be put in the running to win free coaching with me.

We get started on Saturday January 20 (yep Saturday!) so sign up ASAP below.

Creating Your Weekly Workout Plan – Step by Step

You’re ready to get more consistent with your workouts but just can’t seem to get into a rhythm that works for your schedule. Or maybe, you’ve been working out for a while now, many times a week but are just not seeing results. Your weekly workout plan is full of 5, 6, 7 workouts and you’re doing them all, but you look in the mirror, frustrated that your belly looks the exact same.

Sound familiar?

As a coach and trainer, I hear from women weekly about their struggles with exercising. And honestly, they fall into two main camps:

  • Women who are having a hard time getting consistent with workouts. They’re trying so so hard to workout but most days, things get in the way (especially during the holidays) and they fall off the wagon.
  • Women who are exercising (very) consistently but aren’t seeing changes. They’re working out hard and following a strict workout program but the scale doesn’t budge, their pants don’t fit differently, and they don’t know what they’re doing wrong (make sure you’re not telling yourself one of these four lies that are keeping you from seeing results).

Now, I talk tons about consistency (if you’re struggling see here, here, and here for some of my best recommendations) but to be real, for years (and until I developed the nutrition and workout protocols I teach in #ConsistentlyLean) I struggled with working out a ton and not seeing results.

It was incredibly frustrating. And looking back, it all boiled down to two simple mistakes that would have been fixable with the right weekly workout plan (download a great one here).

(1) Doing the WRONG types of workouts and (2) OVERexercising

So many of us are working out for too long (see two reasons to shorten your workout) and working out inefficiently (create the most effective 20 minute workout using these guidelines), which keeps us from seeing results. UGH!

I’m a firm believer in working out for leveling up your workouts (tips to create an effective routine) so you can scale back the amount of time you’re exercising each week but I keep hearing from women that they’re struggling to know when they’ve done enough. They’re constantly questioning themselves and worried that they’re doing too little (or too much). And honestly, a lot of this comes from a workout program that’s not working FOR them.

So this week, I’m breaking down, step-by-step, how to create your best weekly workout plan to keep you consistent AND seeing results.

Creating your weekly workout plan

Learn to create your own workout plan, step by step. Weekly Workout Plan For Women - Weekly Workout Plan For The Gym - Weekly Workout Plan for Home

Step 1: determine how many days a week you want to workout

You first need to decide how many day per week you’d like to workout. I generally start clients on a three days a week workout plan. This is a great amount of weekly activity to start seeing physical results and start feeling different in your own skin.

Because you don’t want to work the same muscle group back-to-back, this will influence how you set up your workout split. If you’re ready to bump your routine up to 4 or 5 workout days per week, the same principles apply! 🙂

Step 2: slot in your lifting days

The first step to creating your weekly workout plan is to add your lifting days. Because lifting weights is the best way to change the shape of your body, we gotta focus on adding it first to our program. Below are my recommendations for lifting schedules.

3 day workout plan

Monday: full body weighted workout #1

Wednesday: full body weighted workout #2

Friday: full body weighted workout #3

4 day workout plan

Monday: full body weighted workout #1

Wednesday: full body weighted workout #2

Friday: full body weighted workout #3

Saturday: additional, body part specific lifting workout OR HIIT cardio, depending on your goals (more on that below)

5 day workout plan

Monday: lower body workout #1

Tuesday: upper body + abs workout #1

Wednesday: metabolic conditioning workout OR HIIT cardio, depending on your goals (more on that below)

Friday: lower body workout #2

Saturday: upper body + abs workout #2

Step 3: schedule your recovery activities

Our bodies need recovery (see why to take a rest day) and restorative activity just as much as they need workouts. That’s why it’s so important to schedule these activities in the same way that we would schedule our workouts.

Take a minute to look at your weekly workout plan to determine when and where you can add some restorative activities – think yoga, stretching, mobility work, meditation, or walking.

Step 4: add cardio based on your goals

Generally, I recommend clients lift weights 3-4x per week. Once those 3-4 workouts are scheduled, we can consider adding some cardio, most often, in the form of HIIT or MetCon. These types of cardio activities preserve muscle tissue and help raise our metabolic rate. This is different from long duration, steady state cardio (think running 5 miles) that actually can break down our hard earned muscle.

If you have fat loss goals, try adding a short HIIT cardio workout (like this one) to your schedule.

Trying to maintain your progress?Ttry adding a MetCon circuit or consider doing low intensity steady state (walking) or yoga.

If you’re training for an endurance event, add your moderate intensity steady state cardio.

Using these four steps, you can create a weekly workout plan that works for YOU and will help you see results. If you want a done for you, weekly workout plan that will help you STOP overexercising, get CONSISTENT, and see RESULTS, download my #GoldilocksFitness Program. I’ll program a week of workouts for you so that you can rest assured you’ve done enough, without overdoing it. Grab your copy below.

Holiday Workout Plan – 7 Days of Bodyweight Workouts

Happy (almost)December! In honor of the busiest month of the year, I wanted to share out a weekly workout plan that you can use all December long.

When we are slammed at work, traveling to see family, or facing back-to-back holiday parties, fitting in a workout seems like the last thing we wanna do. But at the same time, a quick workout can set the tone for our entire day. In fact, I strongly encourage my coaching clients to emphasize consistency with their workouts above all else during the holidays.

Why?

Because it’s the ONE thing we can truly control.

In a time where many of our meals are outside the norm, it helps to focus on our fitness. This focus allows us to get a few victories under our belts so that we can have more motivation to take on challenging eating situations.

That’s why I’ve created this super simple holiday workout plan, so that you can take it with you anytime you’re traveling (or just plain busy) this holiday season. You can repeat this workout plan for 2-3 weeks, just be sure that you are progressing the movements as best you can (here’s how to do it with equipment and here’s how to do it without).

Every workout in this holiday workout plan is bodyweight only, so you can workout absolutely anywhere. If you wanna add equipment, go ahead but it’s not at all required for these workouts.

Let’s get to it.

Your Holiday Workout Plan

Day 1: Bodyweight Stair Workout

Full breakdown

Today's full body bodyweight stair workout will work your entire body. One round will take about 6 minutes to complete, and I recommend completing 2-3 rounds for a full workout.

Day 2: Burpee/Lunge Ladder Workout

Full breakdown

 

A ascending ladder just means that you will start with 1 rep of one exercise and 10 reps of the other, adding 1 rep to the first exercise and subtracting 1 rep from the other until reaching the allotted number of reps. For example, with this workout, you will complete 1 burpee and 10 jump lunge (per leg) in the first round. Rest as needed. Then complete 2 burpees and 9 jump lunges (per leg).

Day 3: Turkey Day Full Body Workout

Full breakdown

This workout will be performed in a circuit style and works your full body. You will do each bodyweight strength exercise for 50 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then you'll move into 30 seconds of your cardio move of choice (skipping, high knees, burpees, etc) before transitioning into the next strength exercise. The goal of this style is to combine cardio and strength to maximize your results.

Day 4: Rest/Recovery OR Glute Activation Workout

Full breakdown

My plan is to use this sequence as a warm up before strength sessions. I also encourage you to add it to your mobility routine to make sure your whole body is properly mobilized and stabilized.

Day 5: Halloween Inspired Full Body Workout

Full breakdown

My treat for you is a bodyweight halloween workout you can do absolutely anywhere. Bodyweight workouts are possibly the most effective way to improve your relative strength while also getting a cardio burn. And I'm all about improving that relative strength! That being said, the other key benefit of incorporating bodyweight training into your routine, especially if you would otherwise skip a workout, is that you can get your sweat on anywhere.

Day 6: Sprints + Core Circuit

Full breakdown

Looking for a new core workout? This ab workout will get you wedding ready in no time. And, let's be real, this is not your typical six pack sit up workout, because I'm all about results. And in order to change your physique, we've got to incorporate both effective ab exercises to build strength AND interval cardio to reduce body fat.

Looking for a new core workout? This ab workout will get you wedding ready in no time. And, let's be real, this is not your typical six pack sit up workout, because I'm all about results. And in order to change your physique, we've got to incorporate both effective ab exercises to build strength AND interval cardio to reduce body fat.

Day 7: REST!

Here’s why rest is so so important…

If you want more fun, short, and effective workouts that can be done at home, #SkipTheGym might be a great fit for you. Try out a free workout & get a sample meal plan bonus here.

Turkey Day TRX Workout – Travel Ready

The TRX is one of my favorite pieces of equipment, and I recommend it to clients almost every single week. This super simple implement is amazing for creating full body workouts, using nothing but our bodyweight. Whether you workout at a gym or at home, incorporating TRX movements is a great way to increase your relative strength and improve stability/balance. Oh, and it’s really flipping fun. Today, in honor of Thanksgiving here in the states (I did a Thanksgiving workout last year too – try it out!), I’ve build a workout that requires only your TRX so that you can take your TRX workout with you anywhere.

TRX Workout

This workout was a reader request, and I’m more than happy to oblige, because the TRX is my go-to when I’m traveling (try out my other TRX workout, too!). It can be used to work your entire body (and doesn’t take up much space in a suitcase).

In fact, when I used to head up to the mountains, the TRX was my favorite piece of equipment. I’d throw the TRX up on the beam outside and do a full body workout. I’d do few movement, then run up and down the stairs leading to the cabin. So fun.

So, today’s TRX workout is inspired by the TRX workouts I did while traveling up to the mountains. It’s gonna work your entire body, with minimal equipment. I filmed the workout at the gym (for ease of camera angles) but this workout is 100% doable at home, using the TRX door attachment.

If you wanna stay on track with your fitness over the holidays while only training at home, you gotta join my #HolidayHIITNess challenge. Grab the details (and your spot) here.

Work your full body with just a TRX. TRX workout for women - TRX workout for beginners - TRX workout routine - TRX HIIT workout

Instructions & real time video demo

For this TRX workout, we’re focusing on strength training. I’m sharing 4 movements that you will do 10 reps each. To make this workout more challenging/metabolic, add 60s of cardio in between rounds. Complete this circuit 3-4 rounds through for an awesome full body workout in 20 minutes.

As always, I’m sharing a real time, follow along video of this workout so that you can workout with me. For exercise progressions and modifications, want this real time demo. I go through one round, in real time, with you, providing ways to make the workout easier and more challenging.

Doing your first (or best) push up: top 3 exercises to improve push up strength

When we think about our fitness goals, one of the most common ones I hear revolves around push ups. I hear from ladies all the time that they’re trying to achieve their first push up from their toes, working on their range of motion, or trying to crush a fancy push up variation. Even in my #ConsistentlyLean coaching group, many of the ladies are working on their push up goals.

And I get it.

Crushing a full push up is HARD. It requires tons of upper body and core strength. And as women, we do tend to have more lower body than upper body strength. But don’t read that as “I’m never going to be able to do push ups from my toes.” There are SO many ways to increase your relative strength enough to complete lots of different types of push ups (the triceps push up is one of my faves).

woman push up

I’ve worked with nearly 100 women online over the last year and have helped many of them achieve their push up goals. So today, I’m sharing my three favorite exercises to progress your push up (learn exactly how to implement them in my free #PushUpPower Blueprint).

 

But first, let’s talk form.

One of the biggest mistakes I see ladies make in the gym is doing push ups with crappy form. They’re on their toes, arching their backs, and barely moving their chests towards the ground.

I get it. There’s pride involved. We want to be able to do *real* push ups. But the truth is, our bodies don’t care if we are on our toes, knees, or up against a wall. Our bodies know the force exerted on the muscles. And with a push up, range of motion is queen. We’ve gotta make sure that we’re correctly progressing (here’s how to progress or regress any exercise) so that we are moving towards a full range of motion (think chest all the way to the ground while still engaging the core).

This is why I won’t default to having clients perform their push ups from their knees; the range of motion is different AND it does not engage the core muscles in the same way. Today, I’m gonna share my three favorite exercises to help you build push up strength so that you can do your first (or best!) push up. If you want me to break it all down for you and show you exactly what to do, check this out.

 

Before we get started…

If you’re working through an injury, follow the cardinal role of working out: don’t do anything that hurts! If you’re feeling pain, stop it.

However, if you’re feeling stiff, that could be a warm up or activation issue. It’s so incredibly important to warm up prior to exercising, but it’s something so many of us skip, because it feels like just another long set of exercises to do before we start our actual exercise. That’s why I warm up like this instead.

Additionally, it’s super important that we activate the muscles we’re about to work, prior to exercising. This (1) decreases the likelihood of injury and (2) helps our muscles work harder during the actual workout. Activation is so important that I specifically call it out in my DARR formula for effective workouts.

Alright.

Assuming now that we’re all warmed up, activated, and ready to go, here are my three favorite exercises to improve your push up strength.

Learn the 3 best exercises to improve your push up. push up challenge - how to do a push up - beginner push up - push up workout

Wall Push Up

If you’re just getting started with push ups, this is the best place to start (yes, instead of push ups from your knees). This exercise will build the strength you need while also engaging your core.

Elevated Push Up

Once wall push ups become too easy for you, it’s time to elevate your hands. By elevating your hands, the movement becomes quite a bit easier (while still forcing you to use your core muscles).

While you’re doing elevated push ups, you can definitely incorporate some push ups from your knees for variety.

Push Up Holds

Once you’ve mastered these push up variations, it’s time to start increasing the challenge. One of the best ways to do this is through push up holds.

By holding yourself at the bottom of the range of motion, you’ll build lots of strength so that you can do even more challenging variations. It’s super important NOT to arch your back while you hold, so be mindful of your form.

By incorporating these three exercises into your routine, you’ll definitely master the push up! Try adding one (or all) to your next workout. If you want a step by step guide, grab my push up blueprint. I’ll tell you exactly what to do and when to do it to get your first (or best!) push up in the next four weeks. Check out all the details here.

My 5 tips to create and implement a short effective workout routine. workout routine for weight loss - workout routine at home - full body workout routine

How to create a (short) effective workout routine – 5 tips

I talk a lot about why it’s so important to workout intelligently and for less time (two reasons to shorten your workout today). But the truth is, I haven’t talked much about exactly how to do it!

Information and knowledge are all well and good but until we learn to implement, we’re stuck in the exact same spot. Honestly, I think this is why we are all still struggling – we have so much great information out there but nobody will take time to show us how to make it work for our own lives.

If I’m honest, I fell into this trap just a couple years ago. Back in early 2015, I knew I wanted to make a change to my workout routine and body composition, so I started researching.

I read one article saying HIIT workouts were the only way to lose weight, so I added an extra 20 minute workout onto my long run.

I saw that strength training workouts were the best way to change your body shape, so I completed 60+ minute BodyRock.tv workouts every morning.

It felt like I was doing everything *right,* listening to all the advice I found and still not seeing results. Talk about frustrating.

Looking back now, I see that my inability to create an effective workout routine was alllllll in the implementation (need help implementing? Join #StressFreeStrength to get on track with your workouts without stressing). Even though I had some of the core ideas right, I failed at creating an effective workout routine that would help me reach my goals.

So today, I’m gonna stop talking about WHY we should shorten our workouts to get more consistent (if you’re struggling with consistency, make sure you’re not making one of these mistakes) and talk more about HOW to implement a short, effective workout routine for yourself. Of course, if you want a done-for-you workout program, join #StressFreeStrength before we get started on January 20!

5 tips to create your own short, effective workout routine

My 5 tips to create and implement a short effective workout routine. workout routine for weight loss - workout routine at home - full body workout routine

Focus on full body workouts

One of the biggest mistakes I see is focusing waaaay too much on small muscle groups. I blame this on Pinterest and all of the workout pins promising tone our flabby arms or spot reduce belly fat. We find a pin promising to get rid of bat wings, so we do an hour of triceps extensions and wonder why we still have fat on our arms. Yikes.

While there is some benefit in doing upper/lower body split workouts (example), when we’re aiming for a short effective workout routine, we gotta get efficient.

And full body workouts are efficient (see my full body workout archives here) because by working both your upper and lower body, you force your body to work harder during your workout. Working harder = more calories burned = more results

How to implement

Instead of doing workouts that focus on a single muscle group, work your entire body. Alternate between upper and lower body exercises within a single workout. This is how every #StressFreeStrength workout is set up.

Train with compound movements

A compound movement is an exercise that works multiple parts of your body at once. So, going back to our toned arms example, instead of simply doing a triceps extension or overhead press, we combine it with a lower body exercise to make it way harder.

Below is one of my favorite compound movements to incorporate into my workouts.

How to implement

Take a look at your workouts and identify exercises that are only working one muscle at a time, and sub out these movements for compound movements. Comment on my FB if you have questions or need help picking a new exercise.

Combine cardio and weight training

When it comes to an effective workout routine, we want to find ways to get our cardio and strength training in a single workout.

This saves time and can help speed up our results/push through plateaus.

How to implement

Do not read this tip as: add some strength training to your long cardio workout. That was the mistake I made that kept me struggling. Instead, you can do one of two things.

  1. Add a cardio finisher or primer to your strength workout. Think 5-10 minutes of super intense cardio intervals (like sprints) that you add to the beginning or end of your workout.
  2. Incorporate cardio exercises into your strength routine. Here is a workout where I do exactly that. You’ll notice it works your full body, uses compound movements, and combines cardio and strength.

Lift heavy for you

Doing strength training with weights that are too light for us is not gonna help us achieve any of our goals. In order to force our bodies to change (and show us the results we’re waiting for), we have to challenge them (AKA lift heavy).

How to implement

Grab heavy weights for YOU in that SPECIFIC exercise. It should be difficult to complete the last 2-3 reps of any exercise, and yes, that means you will ideally have multiple sets of weights.

I wrote an entire article on the topic, if you’d like more information on choosing the appropriate weight.

Keep it simple

If you’re doing tips 1-4, it’s time to stop stressing about the rest. Don’t worry about heart rate zones or the number of calories you’re burning. The more we focus on the small details, the more likely we will struggle with consistency

How to implement

If you’re overwhelmed by all the things, pick ONE of these tips to incorporate into your workout routine this week. See how that goes, them add more the following week. Slow, small changes ARE enough.

Ready to get started with a short effective workout routine? Let me do all the set up for you! Every single #StressFreeStrength workout is less than 30 minutes and doable from home. There will be bodyweight only modifications for every workout so that you can join in even if you don’t have equipment. This free challenge is gonna help you get back on track with your workouts for the rest of 2018, without obsessing about it. Check out all the details and sign up asap so I can add you to the closed FB group!

Full body TRX HIIT workout for women. TRX workout for beginners. TRX workout at home.

TRX HIIT Workout – Bodyweight & At Home

When it comes to versatile and portable equipment, the TRX is second to none. This super simple implement is amazing for creating full body workouts, using nothing but our bodyweight. Whether you workout at a gym or at home, incorporating TRX movements is a great way to increase your relative strength and improve stability/balance. Oh, and it’s really flipping fun. Today, I’m sharing my favorite TRX HIIT workout so that you can train with the TRX anywhere.

TRX HIIT Workout

When I’m traveling, my TRX is my go-to piece of exercise equipment, because it can be used to work your entire body (and doesn’t take up much space in a suitcase).

In fact, when I went to Ireland back in 2015 for work, the TRX was all I had. I was in a foreign country, without access to a gym or any other workout equipment. For 10 days, I did a TRX HIIT workout almost every day.

I’d wake up early, roll out of bed, grab my TRX, and hang it up in the door, using the door attachment. I’d scour YouTube and Pinterest for workout inspiration until I found a TRX HIIT workout that looked fun.

Today’s workout is inspired by the TRX HIIT workouts I would do in my corporate apartment in Ireland. It’s gonna work your entire body, with minimal equipment. I filmed the workout at the gym (for ease of camera angles) but this workout is 100% doable at home, using the TRX door attachment.

Full body TRX HIIT workout for women. TRX workout for beginners. TRX workout at home.

Instructions & real time video demo

For this TRX HIIT workout, we’re combining strength movements and cardio portions for maximum results.  We’ve got four full body strength exercises and cardio intervals in between.

We’ll perform 10 reps of each strength exercise before moving into 10 burpees. If burpees are too challenging, substitute a 60s of cardio movement (high knees, jump rope, etc) of your choice. 

As always, I’m sharing a real time, follow along video of this workout so that you can workout with me. For exercise progressions and modifications, want this real time demo. I go through one round, in real time, with you, providing ways to make the workout easier and more challenging.

Complete this circuit 3-4 rounds through for an awesome full body workout.

5 things buying a house taught me about fitness

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that a huge part of my summer was buying our first condo. They accepted our offer in May. We moved in June. We did renovations and updates all throughout July. And now, my lovely friends, it’s August, we’ve made our first mortgage payment, and we’re finally starting to settle in.

We’re almost two months into homeownership, and I already feel like I’ve learned SO much in the process. And I’m not just talking about how to tile a floor, paint a wall, install baseboard, or stain a bathroom cabinet (although I’ll happily talk your ear off about those things). I’m talking about those *real* life lessons that we only learn through a lot of struggle.

So today, I wanna share those with you, because I’ve realized they’re actually super related to nutrition and fitness motivation.

5 things buying a house taught me about fitness motivation

After buying a house, I had some serious realizations that applied to fitness too. Sharing them! fitness motivation - fitness motivation quotes - fitness motivation ideas - fitness motivation meme

We can’t have it all

When we moved into our condo, I wanted to make it our own. It felt like we were crashing in someone else’s house. I immediately wanted to change absolutely everything.

As we sat down to come up with a game plan for updating our home, it became clear that we didn’t have enough time, money, or skill to do it all right now.

We couldn’t hire someone to paint the entire space AND rip up the carpet. 

We couldn’t pay for updates to both bathrooms immediately after dropping our savings on a downpayment. 

Laying down grass in the middle of the summer was just not gonna work.

Writing this now, I know it sounds silly and unrealistic, but in the moment, I wanted to do literally all the things. But the last couple months have shown me that everything is tradeoffs.

We have to choose the things that are most important to us in the moment and go from there.

And this is SO true for fitness, isn’t it? We all want to lose weight, build muscle, run faster, get stronger, and complete our first marathon.

Life is about priorities and tradeoffs.

Is losing weight more important than running a marathon?

Is running faster more important than building muscle?

All of our goals are totally valid, and it’s important to set goals, but we have to be able to prioritize the things we want in the moment and what can wait.

Take a look at your approach to fitness right now, and start prioritizing those goals.

The journey is never over

As we began making changes to our home, I thought I would begin to feel at peace and ready to stop.

Yeah.

The opposite happened.

As we made changes, I continually became aware of more changes I wanted to make. I’m told that this is the reality of a homeowner: always wanting to improve and work on your home.

This reminded me a LOT of our fitness journeys. As we start seeing results and feeling better, we get addicted. We want to keep doing it.

And even though we think that our fitness journey is gonna end when we lose 10lbs/run that first marathon/squat X weight, it never does.

It becomes part of our lifestyle and who we are, same as homeownership.

Perfect is an illusion

As we’re taking before and after pictures of our home and sharing them with friends and family, I’m amazed by the responses. I keep hearing things like: it looks perfect, you did such a great job, you must be so proud, etc etc etc.

And don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly proud and love everything we’ve changed about our home.

But it is far from perfect.

I see the spots where the tile isn’t 100% level. I notice the baseboard corner that is definitely not straight. It’s hard for me to ignore the water spots on the back of the counter.

I nitpick absolutely everything, because it is MINE. And isn’t this the same when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and all the social media representations of it?

We are so much harder on ourselves than others, and I think it’s important to remember that what we see is almost never the reality. It’s also been a great reminder to be more gentle with myself: perfect is impossible, and we’ve gotta remember that when viewing others’ social media highlights.

Patience is perhaps the most important virtue (that I don’t have)

Holy f. When we moved in, I wanted the walls painted, bathroom redone, and carpet pulled up YESTERDAY. Each day has been an exercise in waiting (im)patiently for the things I want.

And of course, life is always there to encourage our personal growth.

The bathroom shelves are still not done.

The flooring we ordered from Home Depot was never actually ordered and arrived 2 days late. 

Half of our furniture didn’t fit through the office door.

And I’ve had to learn to deal with it, accept the process and let go of the things I can’t control. Because, by the time our floors were finished, the desk was in the office, and our bathroom was functional again, it was worth the wait.

Same thing with fitness motivation, no?

We want all the results, right now, but that’s just impossible. We’ve gotta work towards the things that we want, and be patient enough to give it time.

Never sacrifice your life for your goals

When we first moved in (and for most of June/July if I’m being real), all I did was work on the house. I would get up in the morning, write, paint, and work out. Then, as soon as I got home from work, I’d change into my grubby clothes and start painting again.

There were quite a few nights that Andrew and I argued over whether we should have a drink and relax or work on painting/cleaning/moving.

You can probably guess my vote 😀

But as time wore on, I started to figure out that there was no rush. This is my life now, and work will always be there. As a friend of mine said, that’s why we signed a 30 year mortgage. So I started to slow down (not as much as Andrew would like but hey, baby steps), take a few breaks, and actually go out for drinks/dinner again.

And honestly, this reminded me SO much of our fitness and nutrition journeys.

We all want to get to the finish line as fast as possible, so we’re often willing to skip out on drinks with our friends, dinner with family, or an afternoon of hanging out by the pool instead of meal prepping.

But it is SO not worth it.

We’re here to live our lives, not restrict ourselves to a tiny box in the name of our goals.

So if you’re trying to reach some fitness or nutrition/body goals, take a second to ask yourself if you’re truly living your life or if it’s taken a back seat to reaching those goals.

It’s not a race to the finish line. We’re never gonna achieve “perfect” (here’s what I recommend instead). This journey is never over.

So we might as well enjoy the ride.

I hope these truths help you with your fitness motivation, and frankly, your life! Coming to terms with these concepts has been a huge part of my summer, and I wanted to make sure to share out what I’ve learned. If you want more fitness, nutrition, and mindset nuggets, join my email tribe. I share all my best stuff with my email buddies on Thursday mornings. Join the conversation!

Five things that have changed the way I think about exercise

We believe morning workouts are the only way to go; we can’t understand how anyone could hit the gym in the evening. Or maybe we hear coworkers talking nonstop about SoulCycle and can’t understand why they would ever spend $35 for a cardio class. Or maybe we see the CrossFit games on TV and think those, those are the athletes to emulate.

We all think about fitness and exercise but we rarely stop to think about why we think the way we do.

Almost a year ago, I shared one of my most popular posts yet. In it, I chatted about the five things that radically shifted how thought about food, eating, and nutrition. It was such a popular post that I wanted to switch gears about talk about exercise.

Below are five events or milestones in my life that have impacted my fitness and my overall approach to exercise. Some are more serious than others but they’ve all changed me into the coach I am today.

Five things that have changed my approach to fitness. Exercise. At home exercise.

Five things that have changed my approach to fitness

Competing in half marathons

Running was my first love. As a chubby middle schooler, when I discovered there was a sport allowing me to run for extended periods of time without having to throw/kick/catch anything, I was hooked. I vividly remember going to run club at 6am…as a thirteen year old! High school cross country & track filled my days. Even when traveling, going on service trips, or during the off season, I would throw on my shoes and just go for miles. It provided me a calm I had yet to experience in any other part of my life.

By the time I got to college, I realized I was pretty good at it, too. I started racing in competitive half marathons and even placed second in my age category.

April 2013

Running competitively taught me how to think about fitness from a performance mindset. It taught me how to set goals and work to reach them. These are all skills that I still use today, in my and my clients’ fitness journeys.

Discovering strength training

As I mentioned, in high school and most of college, all I did was cardio. I was queen of the long run, treadmill, and elliptical.

Because of this, I constantly exercised to burn calories; that was all I could ever think of.

But when I started lifting weights, I realized there was something much more important than burning: building. Calories stopped being those pesky things I needed to get rid of, and they became the fuel I needed to change my body. Strength training gave me a way to build myself up, instead of always trying to be smaller.

Completing P90x3

When I originally started lifting, my workouts were long. I would do sixty minute lifting workouts, because I believed that if it wasn’t an hour long workout, it didn’t count.

Towards the end of my college career, Andrew and I decided to try P90X3, which included 6 30 minute workouts per week. It was my first exposure to shorter workouts that still could give results.

I’m not and never will be a Beachbody coach but I’m grateful that I discovered the program so that I could finally quit the idea that I had to workout for a full hour.

Being put on bedrest

In the summer of 2013, I was in an exceptionally unhealthy place. I was working out two+ hours a day, eating nowhere close to enough, and constantly thinking about my body, trying to get smaller and smaller.

I can vividly remember dragging myself away from the beach on vacation with my family and Andrew to get in my second workout of the day. It was so hot that I was wearing just a sports bra and shorts, barefoot, doing my second Insanity DVD of the day.

I called out to my mom, “It’s just 20 minutes. I’ll be there soon.”

In my heart, I wanted to be out there, watching the sun go down with the people I loved, but I couldn’t pull myself away, so sure that I would gain weight on this vacation if I didn’t do my two workouts per day.

Almost as soon as we got back from that vacation, my doctor told me I had to stay in bed for three days, no exercise at all. My heart was not stable enough to handle the incredible amount of stress I was putting on it. I could either do the bed rest at home or go into the hospital.

Well shit.

Real quick I had to rethink my approach to eating and moving. This rude awakening was what I needed to stop restricting and start moving towards eating disorder recovery. It was one of the hardest times of my life.

Becoming a personal trainer

I’ve always been super interested in fitness. I had lots of knowledge bouncing around in my head but didn’t exactly know how to apply it or how to use it to help others. Becoming a NASM CPT in May of 2016 helped me implement my knowledge and love of movement to help others.

Fitness is such a big topic, and we often have thoughts without fully understanding why we feel the way we do. That’s why it’s so important to break it all down. When we understand why we feel the way we do, we’re better able to make a change.

If you’d like to shift the way you think about fitness, I’d LOVE to share free workouts with you. Try out a free #SkipTheGym style workout here.