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crossfit, Fitness, health and fitness, Uncategorized, workouts

My Top 5 “No Time” Workouts

Whether you are too tired, too busy, or just short on attention span, we all have days where a long workout just isn’t going to happen. That excuse is no reason not to work out at all though, as I will solidly prove in this post 😉

Here are my top 5 go to workouts for when I can’t get in a long workout, ranging from just 4 minutes to 20 minutes in length. I just did #3 this afternoon.

 

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  • 1 Tabata Anything. [For those who aren’t familiar with Interval Training, check out this post before you go any further. If you don’t the following will sound just a tad crazy.]As you may know, 1 Tabata = 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 8 rounds (a total of 4 minutes). Who doesn’t have time for a 4 minute workout?? But don’t be fooled, those 4 minutes should be the toughest 4 minutes of your day if you do it right. Pick a good compound exercise, or several, start your timer, and get it done. Push hard enough to be out of breath with burning muscles by the end, but not so hard that you puke. Some good exercises to do for a Tabata workout include burpees, squat jumps, pushups, planks, and mountain climbers. Don’t limit yourself though – you can make just about any exercise work for a Tabata.

 

  • 100 for Time. This one is nice because it requires minimal mental energy, which makes it a great choice for the end of a stressful day. Pick an exercise you can do for high reps (like push-ups or squats), and perform 100 reps as fast as you can, timing yourself. Record your time and try to beat it next time. If you have a little more time, you can do multiple hundreds, or even up to 1,000.

 

  • 200, 100, 200.  This is one of my favorite “bookend” workouts because it includes an endurance and strength element without taking too much time. The idea is to do 200 reps of a cardio exercise, followed by 100 of a strength movement, and finishing with 200 more reps of that first cardio exercise. A great example is 200 double unders, followed by 100 dumbbell snatches, ending with 200 more double unders.

 

 

  • 3x10x3.  When I’m short on time or energy but want to maintain functional strength (listen up liftin’ ladies), I do 3 rounds of 3 different strength exercises for 8-10 reps each. For a total body workout I might do Squats, Curl & Press, and Lunges. For your lower body some good choices are weighted Step-ups, weighted Hip Bridges, or weighted Squat Jumps. You can really just add a lot of weight to any strength exercise and do it for 10 reps. The same goes for the upper body. 3 rounds is enough to challenge the muscles and maintain their strength.

 

  • 20 minute challenge.  Pick any exercise and make up your mind to do it for 20 minutes with little to no rest. My favorites for this are jump rope and, well, jump rope, but you can do it with just about any endurance exercise.

 

There ya go, hopefully I have eliminated your excuse of having no time to work out 😉 Now go get to it! Let me know in the comments what your favorite “no time” workout is 🙂

about me, blogging, Fitness, health and fitness, Health Coaching, Uncategorized

(New!) EF Coaching Update

I know it’s been over a week since I’ve written a post. . . yikes!! This week I had to work Monday through Friday plus the weekend, so blogging has kinda taken a back seat. I’ve got just over 2 weeks until I move and get settled into a new routine. In the meantime I have a few short updates for anyone who is interested in how my coaching business is developing (and no, it isn’t dead). . .

 

I’m joining a new, well-known fitness platform.  I’ll share more as soon as I work out some of the details, but I had a fellow fitness professional contact me this week with an offer to join a network of coaches through a well-known fitness platform. I’m really excited about this because through this particular platform I will be able to offer more holistic help to my clients, build a client base faster, maintain a more steady income through coaching, and network with fellow coaches (way more fun than going it alone). So keep following my blog over the next few weeks as I will be doing an in depth post on this soon.

 

I’m almost ready to take my final certification exams.  In a previous post I talked about offering 3 clients a discounted coaching rate to fund the fee for my final certification exams in life coaching and personal training. I’m happy to say I’m almost at my goal, and will be able to take the exams very soon!! 😀

 

I’m teaching a group fitness class for the elderly.  At my day job I have the opportunity to teach a regular exercise class for seniors. I love it because it gives me experience working with a variety of fitness levels and personalities to keep them all engaged in the exercise. Hopefully that carries over in the future when I make workout videos.

 

Much awesomeness to come soon,

Elizabeth Fredrickson

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Fitness, health and fitness, Health Coaching, healthy living, Uncategorized, workout review, workouts

Interval Training – What it is and why you need to try it

Interval Training is one of those types of workouts that promises amazing results and actually lives up to the hype. We’ve all experienced too many scams in the fitness world, from workouts that promise to get rid of belly fat to diet pills that promise to make you skinny in a month (but don’t tell you that you’ll gain it all back, plus some). You don’t have to worry about falling for a scam with interval training, its benefits have been proven time and time again. And I’m not just writing from an academic perspective – interval training has had a HUGE impact on how I approach fitness. So without further ado, here’s the what, how, and why of interval training.

What is interval training? – Since it’s a relatively new type of workout, you may never have even heard of it. Let me be the first to enlighten you. In short, interval training is where you perform a given exercise at 70-80% of your max effort for a short period of time, rest briefly, then repeat for a given number of minutes or rounds. For instance, in Tabata workouts (a type of interval training), you perform a given exercise at near max effort for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and repeat for a total of 8 rounds (4 minutes). Sound a little crazy or weird? Keep reading, the benefits of this kind of training are incredible.

Why would you do such a thing? – The reasons are really endless, but here are a few of the most common reasons people switch to interval training.

  • To lose weight without losing muscle. Too often, traditional cardio workouts (e.g. running on a treadmill for an hour) cause you to progressively lose muscle, which leads to all kinds of problems. A healthy body is strong, and a fit body has defined muscles that perform when you put them to the test. (Don’t worry ladies, I’m not talking about manly or bodybuilder muscles, I mean strong but lean, feminine muscle). Muscles burn fat even while you are at rest so it’s crucial to build or maintain strength while you work towards fat loss. To sum it up, weight loss should be fat loss, not muscle loss, and interval training holds up to that standard.

 

  • As an alternative to long, boring cardio workouts. Let’s be honest here. What is one of the toughest parts of getting through a long run or cycling routine? Boredom. After a certain point your brain is kinda like, “Hey when are we gonna do something different… More cardio? Heck no! Stop or we will die!!!” Or at least mine sounds like that lol. Thankfully, interval training is a great way to completely get rid of the boredom factor because you have to constantly be on your toes and paying attention, which makes the time fly by. With interval training you can also get away with doing a shorter workout without sacrificing results. Because of the short bursts of work and rest of interval workouts, your metabolism gets a much stronger boost than with steady state cardio (long bouts of cardio at the same pace). That way your body will continue burning fat long after your actual workout is done. So in short, interval workouts keep your mind engaged, which prevents boredom, and are more effective than other types of cardio, which means you can do a shorter workout and still get amazing results. Pretty cool, huh?

 

  • The variety ensures you never plateau in your progress. One of the most common complaints about steady state cardio workouts is that people lose weight for awhile, then eventually plateau and stop making much progress at all. Or worse, they start gaining the weight back. This isn’t surprising because if you think about it, our bodies are designed to adapt. If you do the same thing over and over eventually the body stops feeling the need to improve because it gets used to your routine. To make continuous progress, you have to change things up once in awhile. With interval training that never becomes a problem because there is constant variety. Your body never gets the chance to adapt because one second you are asking it to work really hard, and the next it gets to rest. Not to mention the fact that if you change the actual exercises you do for intervals there is no way you can plateau (unless you have an underlying condition).

 

  • To develop a toned, lean, and capable physique. Ultimately, the goal of every person devoted to their fitness is to create a body that looks good and performs well under pressure. Interval training is a great way to achieve both. Ladies, it is especially great for you because you don’t have to worry about developing bulky muscles. You will instead develop lean, strong muscles that give you confidence that your body is strong and capable. If weight loss is one of your goals, interval training allows you to simultaneously build lean muscles and burn the fat that is covering them so they are visible (this is what it really means to “tone up” by the way – to burn fat off muscles so they are more visible).

 

  • Runners, listen up. I was able to take 2 minutes off my mile through interval and strength training alone. I promise this works to build crazy endurance as well as, if not better than, traditional running.

 

So really, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying interval training. If you are a beginner, I recommend you star with a 1:2 ratio, where you rest twice as long as you work (example: jump rope for 1 minute and rest for 2, or do sit-ups for 30 seconds and rest for a minute). As you get stronger and fitter you will be able to get down to a 2:1 ratio where you work twice as long as you rest.

If you work out at home, I really recommend doing FitnessBlender’s videos. They  have options for every fitness level and their workouts are structured perfectly to get you whatever results you are looking for. They are the first workout program I did that actually worked and got me hooked on working out. Almost all their workouts are structured as interval training.

 

 

If you are in pretty good shape, I recommend trying a couple Tabata workouts to get you started.

 

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The video below is an example of a CrossFit athlete doing a Tabata workout, just to give you an idea of how it is structured. You can use any exercises you want for intervals, and don’t worry, you won’t necessarily end up looking like the girl in the video. She also does a ton of weightlifting and stuff to build more muscle mass. The video is just a good example of a Tabata workout 🙂

 

 

I hope this post has piqued your interest into interval training, and that you will give it a try. It is really one of the best types of training out there to get a wide variety of results. If you are interested in an interval training workout program that is personally customized for your needs/goals, please Contact Me. That is one of the things I specialize in as a health coach and I would love to help you get started 🙂 If you are interested you will want to get in touch with me asap as my rate is likely to be going up in the near future.

If you have any thoughts or questions, please comment below or email me at elizabethfredricksoncoaching@gmail.com!

crossfit, Fitness, Uncategorized

What’s so great about being a stick figure, anyways?

Rant time.

Disclaimer: If you are a big fan of modeling (Victoria’s Secret, anyone?), I suggest you go find another blog to read. I’m going to state my honest opinion here and I won’t apologize for it but if it offends you, I’d ask you to either go rethink your position or read something else. 

Fact: It ain’t skinny that’s pretty.

That’s right, I said it. I will even repeat it because I really believe it’s true – it ain’t skinny that’s pretty. Now hold on and let me explain myself. Being skinny means having minimal fat or largeness to your body. That concept is based entirely on how you look and completely disregards what you can do. It limits your worth to how you look. It’s a flat-out lie. I mean really, what has society come to when we idolize celebrities, actresses, and models who literally starve themselves to fit the so-called “perfect body” mold? How is that healthy or even beautiful? Sure, if you paint someone with enough makeup and cover them in cool clothes that might be appealing, but it isn’t real beauty. Worse, the women who live that lifestyle sacrifice their identity and worth for something that doesn’t last and is built on deceit.

Being bigger than a size 0 isn’t unhealthy. Women naturally carry a little extra weight (often in the hips, but everyone is different) and that is OK – good for you, even. I’m not talking obesity here – just a few extra pounds. In fact, you’ll find that some of the fittest, most beautiful, inspiring female athletes are by no means stick figures. They have a healthy amount of lean muscle and are at a healthy percentage of body fat. It’s called curves, ladies. They work hard, their performance is amazing, they look fabulous, and they are far from supermodel skinny. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below.

 

 

See, I really don’t understand what’s so great and appealing about looking like a pencil. There is nothing fun or beautiful about starving yourself, doing endless cardio and ending up looking malnourished and not able to function under physical pressure.

I believe fitness is first and foremost about what your body can do. But honestly, if you want to develop a strong, healthy physique, the best way to get there is to lift, strength train, interval train, and eat a ton of good food. That’s right. Work out hard and eat a lot. What could be better, right?

I’m definitely not saying it’s easy – it takes a lot of hard work to get there. But the next year is going to pass anyway, so why not spend it working on bettering yourself?

If you’ve believed the beautiful=skinny lie up until now, and aren’t sure if you want to change your mind or not, don’t be afraid to try something new. I guarantee most women have been exactly where you are now, and if they say they haven’t, chances are they are lying. You aren’t alone and shifting your mindset isn’t super complicated unless you make it that way. If you want to change your workout routine to focus more on exercises that shape and develop your body, not just burn fat (although that is bound to happen too), feel free to Contact Me. I would love to help you get started!

 

crossfit, Fitness, Uncategorized, workouts

I Killed Murph

I was really not expecting to write this post today – but I’m super pumped that I can!! If you follow my blog or Instagram, you probably know that last Monday (Memorial Day) I decided to do the CrossFit workout “Murph” (1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, 1 mile run) for the first time. It took me all of 80 minutes, largely because I had a hard time figuring out how to pace myself. After I finished the workout I made it my goal to do it every Monday for the forseeable future until I could improve my time to under 60 minutes.

I’m happy to say that when I did for the second time last night, not only did I improve my time, but I improved it by 27:53. That’s right, 27 minutes and 53 seconds. I got it done in 52:47!! Honestly that might be the fitness achievement I’m most proud of because it was so incredibly difficult all the way through, and I stuck it out to the end with no regrets. As some of you know, I’m not a huge fan of cardio and endurance work because I get bored so easily, so this workout hit that weakness really hard, for the longest 52 minutes of my life. Let me tell you, I was so glad to collapse on the floor after my last mile run.  Best feeling of accomplishment ever.

So what’s the secret for how I improved so much in one week? It’s no secret, really. I just read this fabulous article on How to Not Suck at Murph, implemented his advice, and gave it my all. There are two key things I did differently this time. The first one is that instead of doing the calisthenics straight through, I broke them up into 20 sets of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats. I also didn’t allow myself to rest unless I was nauseous or felt like I would have to take a long break if I didn’t take a brief breather. And yes, for at least the first 20 minutes of the workout I was borderline nauseous. I don’t recommend eating chips and salsa before working out that hard lol, and I don’t recommend working ’til you’re nauseous in general either – I am a rather crazy individual sometimes.

murph3

But anyways, it is very tempting to stop and take a break sometimes (even just for a drink of water or to chalk your hands), but if you want to make good time you can’t do that unless you absolutely must.

So if self-discipline and/or endurance are something you need to work on, I can honestly say going through Murph is one of the best ways to improve yourself mentally and physically. But don’t go using the excuse that you “aren’t an athlete” or some such nonsense as to why you can’t do Murph. There are a ton of ways you can modify it to suit your fitness level. Personally, I had to do the push-ups from my knees. Someday I’ll be able to do them all strict and weighted. The point is to do your personal best. Set goals for yourself, but try not to compare yourself to others too much. If you are out of breath and shaky and have no regrets by the end then you killed it and should be pretty darn proud of yourself.

So from here on out I’m planning to do a new benchmark workout every Monday, work on it once a week until I beat my goal time, and then move on to another one. I think that will be a fun way to keep challenging myself.

Fitness, Uncategorized

My Training Update

As some of you know, I’ve been shifting gears a little when it comes to my training. This past month I’ve been focusing more on dumbbell lifting than barbell or powerlifts. When I move in July I’ll mostly be using a pull-up bar and dumbbells so I’m trying to figure out a plan ahead of time to make that work.

I love dumbbell training because free weights (especially when you only do one arm or leg at a time) are better for strengthening muscle stabilizers as well as the larger muscle groups, so I can get lift heavy and strengthen all the muscles in my body. One thing I’ve noticed that I miss about barbell lifts (especially deadlifts) is that my upper back muscles have lost some size. They are still defined but I don’t feel quite as powerful as I did when I was deadlifting 200+ lbs. 2-3 times per week. I’m sure if I add in more bent over rows and pullups that will come back, but I thought it was interesting to note how much deadlifts work upper back and lat muscles, not just legs.

 

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Here’s my current training plan going forward:

I’m going to do Murph every Monday. Why? I’ll be doing an in depth post soon explaining in more detail, but the short answer is that (a. I loved it, but (b. since it was my first time doing it and I wasn’t sure how to pace myself, the amount of time it took me to finish was ridiculous. My first goal is to get it done in less than 60 minutes. My time yesterday was 79 minutes and 50 seconds. The pull-ups and push-ups were what killed me the most – it was really hard to figure out a way to do those without building up so much lactic acid that I couldn’t keep going. I read a fantastic article yesterday (link here – “How Not to Suck at Murph”) that gave a lot of great tips for how to do it more efficiently, and that post also is what inspired me to try doing it every week for awhile.

Tuesdays and Fridays will be my main leg strength days, where I will combine lifting, barre work, and plyometrics to build more leg strength and power.

Wednesdays and Saturdays will be optional upper body strength training days, with one of them being a rest day. Depending on the week, sometimes I need to work out on the weekends, and sometimes I need a break in the middle of the week. So it will vary week to week, but I want to get in at least one more upper body strength specific workout per week besides “Murph”, which is very upper body intense already. I always rest on Sundays unless I really feel the need to do some active rest like going for an easy run or walk.

 

So there you have my basic training plan for the near future, I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

crossfit, Fitness, Uncategorized, workouts

Murph Challenge

Happy Memorial Day everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend! I also want to thank any of my readers who have served in the military or have supported a family member who has. Even though Memorial Day is in memory of those who have lost their lives fighting for our freedom, I still want to honor those who are serving or have served.

Some of you may have heard (especially on Facebook) about the Murph Challenge 2017, where people all across the United States are completing the “Murph” Crossfit WOD as a tribute to LT. Michael P. Murphy (SEAL), and also as a fundraiser. (You can learn more about the challenge here.) I think Murph is a great workout (as you can see below), so I will be completing it for time as soon as I publish this post. I have to scale it to make it through alive, especially with the 100 pull-ups. My modifications will be to do it without the recommended 20 lb. vest, and the push-ups will be from my knees. I’m sure I’ll have to either put my feet on a box or do jumping pull-ups by the end, especially since I only have gymnastics rings, which are more difficult than a pull-up bar because they are unstable.

Here’s the infamous “Murph” workout:

murph3

 

If any of you want to take part in the Murph challenge, feel free to post your time below, I’d love to see the comments fill up with times from average folks who want to take part in this special Memorial Day workout. If you give it your all, the amount of time it takes you isn’t what matters, so don’t be a bit embarrassed if it takes you longer than you’d like. It’s a tough workout and the fact that you finish makes you pretty special!

Fitness, Uncategorized, workouts

150 Followers – 1,000 Squat Challenge

Why I am making myself do this I have no idea… Actually I do, I can’t say no to a good challenge 😀 Also I figured what better way to celebrate reaching the 150 follower mark than to do something crazy, er, fun! I know 150 isn’t the biggest number of followers out there but it’s exciting for me, thanks to all my long time supporters as well as my new readers! I wouldn’t be where I am without you guys!

My upper body is very sore from yesterday’s workout, which is fabulous, but it means I need to do a strictly lower body workout today. I’ve been considering doing a 1,000 squat workout for awhile now (you may remember I mentioned it in this post), so I figured what better way to kick my own butt today than to do that.

(Just as a side note, if you ever wonder why I post my workouts before I do them it’s for one simple reason: once I post it I have to do it or I’m a liar. It’s a fabulous way to hold myself accountable lol).

So yeah, I’m about to go do 1,000 squats with as little rest as possible. I’m sure it will take me forever and I may not be able to walk when I’m done but my muscles will thank me later I’m sure… The only rule I’m setting for myself is that I have to go below parallel for every rep (hips below knees) and keep my upper body as upright as possible. I’m going to break the first 500 reps into sets of 100, then I might have to do sets of 50. I have no idea how well I’ll hold up so I’ll just have to blast my music and try to pace myself somewhat, and I’ll survive.

Has anyone else ever done 1,000 squats at once?? Please comment your thoughts below 🙂

health and fitness, Health Coaching, lifestyle, Uncategorized

Certification, here I come!

As many of you know, I’ll be moving into my first apartment in about a month or so (likely the second week in July). I’m super excited because now that it’s official and getting closer, I get to set some new goals for after I’m settled into my new place. (Who else loves dreaming new dreams by the way?)

 

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Once I’ve moved and figured out a reasonable budget for myself, I’m going to take (and hopefully pass!) 2 certification exams, one specifically for coaching technique and the second for personal training. I’ve already done most of the coursework and have a solid foundation of knowledge and experience under my belt, but there’s always more to learn. I’m looking forward to having a tangible certificate to finalize my training and prove to my clients that I know my stuff.

My goal is to be certified by the end of summer, I’m thinking August or September. If you are considering hiring me as your coach, please let me know as soon as possible. I’m going to use the income I receive from my first clients to pay for the certification exams. I’m not exactly rich so if I’m not making extra money beyond my regular job, getting certified won’t be an option. The coaching exam is $160, and the personal training exam is $99. If I can find 3 women who want to be coached over the next 2-3 months that should cover my expenses. I’m offering a reduced rate to the first 3 women who sign up, and I already have one client, so like I said please let me know asap if you are interested 🙂 Not that I’m begging for money by the way, a woman who signs up for 2-3 months of coaching will be able to see a huge difference in her health and wellness by the end of that time. I promise it’s worth it.

After I move I’ll also be able to devote more time to blogging, youtubing, instagraming, etc. to really build my business. So if you feel like I’m dropping of the face of the earth or ignoring all your lovely blogs I’m not- I’m just in a very busy season of life right now. Please be patient and count down to July with me 🙂

 

– Elizabeth Fredrickson

Uncategorized, workouts

Upper Body Sculpting Workout

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t big biceps that give your upper body a strong, toned look. It’s actually your shoulder and trap muscles that help define the rest of your upper body muscles. I believe fitness should be about function first, then appearance, but the workout below is great for developing both. It especially targets those shoulder and upper back muscles. I have badly neglected training my upper body in the last week, so I’m excited to get back into it today.

 

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5×5: Pull-ups

5×25: Plank Push-ups

5×10: Curl & Press

5×10: Renegade Rows

100 Squats (as a burnout finisher)