workout

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Cold weather makes it extra hard to get out of a cozy bed and get your sweat on.  That and puppies with fractured toes that make you feel guilty anytime you leave them home alone.

So, why leave your house when you don’t have to?  Here’s a list three types of equipment that can give you a decent workout without ever leaving your home.

1. Jump Ropes

I remember being able to jump rope like it was my job when I was young.  Which is baffling because that shit is hard.  I get more winded doing jump rope than I do from running.  Jumping rope is not only great cardio, but you’ll feel it in your arms, legs and core.  Already a master at single jumps?  Try conquering double unders.  This is where the rope goes under your feet twice while you’re in the air.  Warning: this exercise will most likely result in multiple whip marks that hurt like hell.

I got mine from here.

2. Kettle Bell

I love love love kettle bells.  They are great for adding weight to different movements.  Squatting, pressing, crunching etc; add a kettle bell!  They’re easy to grip and move. Hello sculpted muscles!

3. Yoga Mat

Split Pea is (obviously) my favorite piece of at home equipment.  Not only are mats great for yoga, but it gives you a good service to practice other movements on (sit ups, squats, push ups, handstands etc;)  They especially come in handy for core movements…you know you want to avoid rug burn on your lower back/ass.  Invest in a good yoga mat.  My favorite is The Mat from lululemon.  The material absorbs sweat and gives me a firm surface to balance on.

So there you have it…another excuse to not leave your home this winter.

 

Rule of Thumb

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So, apparently I (and Pood) have what seems to be the best kept secret for athletes.  Except that it’s not a secret at all.  In fact, it’s pretty freaking important.

Alright guys…are you ready for this?  Well here it is:

Listen to your body.

Seems simple right?  You would think.  Yet, many athletes have this big fear that missing a workout will automatically make them weaker.  Despite feeling fatigued, lack of nutrition or even being injured, many people choose to fight through the pain.  Now, I’m all about perseverance, but perseverance doesn’t always mean forcing yourself to finish a workout.  Sometimes it means you listen to your body.

Next time you’re beating yourself up, try these:

1. Check your ego: Because honestly, it doesn’t matter how strong or athletic you think you are.  If you ignore your body, you have a higher risk of getting injured.  Instead of having the injury check your ego for you, listen to what your body is saying.  Slow down. Hydrate. Eat.  Be humble.

2. Modify: Not everyday is a PR day.  And that’s okay. Some days, a weight is going to feel heavier than it should.  Or maybe your run feels slower than usual.  This doesn’t mean you’re weaker.  It’s your bodies way of talking to you.  Don’t push through the pain: modify.  I promise, you’re going to be judging yourself way more than anyone else (despite what you’re thinking…)

3. Rest: Rest days allow your body to build strength.  Although we see the strength gains at the gym or on the trail, those gains come from rest and nutrition.  So in the midst of obsessing over your programming, make sure you’re also planning your rest days and meals.  And be flexible.  So what if your rest day comes a little earlier than you had scheduled? You can train again tomorrow.

Having a Type-A personality, sitting still is hard for me.  The fact that I was expected to rest for not only one day but for five was something I was not looking forward to.   Now, I may have been out and about for an hour a two a day, but majority of my day was spent on the couch soaking up puppy cuddles. A week later, I’m so thankful for this. 

I may feel like myself again, but I’m still listening to my body.  Not working out was…annoying…but obviously necessary.  Getting back into my sweat routine, I’m checking my ego, modifying and resting as needed.  And guess what?  I haven’t lost any strength or my endurance. 

 I’m taking this to mean that incorporating puppy cuddles into my scheduled routines is a must.

Obviously.

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What To Look For In A Workout Partner

I’m all about group classes.  I love being around people who are sweating and working their asses off.  It’s motivational and inspiring.  Plus, it makes you feel better to know you’re not the only one getting your ass kicked by the workout.

I’ve tried the whole working out alone in the gym thing.  And you know what?  I found it totally boring.  I like being around people, so the social aspect of my workout keeps my mind sane while I’m pushing my body.

That being said, it’s important to surround yourself with the right people.  Working out shows you where your strengths are as well as your weaknesses.  For some, their weaknesses can be a sore spot.  It’s important to be around people who will life you up rather than tear you down.

Here’s what I think makes the perfect workout partner

1. You love the same sport.  Whether you’re bending, lifting or running together, you both share a love for the same activity.  Don’t try to force your significant other or bestie into doing what you love.  No one likes a negative nancy while they sweat.

2. You think win-win.  The perfect workout partner will be similar to you in strength, whether you’re out on a trail run, lifting weights or in a hot yoga class.  It makes pushing each other easier.  However, there is a big difference in competition and friendly competition.  For example, if find yourselves saying “I’m going to lift more,” or “I’m going to beat them,” you’re straight up competing with them. (Side note-don’t say this out loud.  You’ll sound like an ass.) Friendly competitors think more along the lines of “if they can keep going, I can keep going.”  Try thinking win-win instead of I’m going to win.

3. You have similar goals. It’s easy to motivate and push each other when you have similar goals.  You work on making progress together. You both value your time inside or outside (depending on your sport) because your end point is the same.  This is also where that friendly competition comes in.  It’ll push you that much more to reach your goal if you have someone working by your side.

4. You balance each other out.  Sure you may have some similar goals, but you will have different strengths and weaknesses.  Use them to help each other out.  Coach each other.  Have days where you work on your partners weakness, and days where together you work on yours.  Nobody is perfect.  Even if you are strong in one area, the continuous practice will make you that much stronger. Plus, nothing beats the feeling of helping someone else become stronger (physically or mentally).

5. Cheer each other on. Even when you can’t exactly breathe, you and your partner are still saying phrases like, “Come on!” and “You got it!” or “Almost there!”  Chances are you’re saying them super fast, as to get it all in one breath.  But you know what?  That right there is workout partner love.

Here’s the part in the post where I get to ramble about my fabulous sweat partners.

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This upside down bad-ass is Ansley.  She is without a doubt the best CrossFit partner I could ask for.  We push each other, help strengthen each other’s weaknesses and work towards similar goals.  Walking handstands…here we come!

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This blonde bombshell, Erin, sparked my love for yoga, and reignited my passion for running.  Together we pushed through challenging hot vinyasa classes and beasted some runs up awful hills. (LOL what were we thinking?!)  Thanks for the motivation, baby girl!

Workouts need to be motivating and fun.  If you’re workout partner sucks the fun out sweating, it may be time for a break-up.

Who do you love to sweat with?  Who keeps you motivated and having fun at the gym, in the studio or on the trails?