Sunday, July 29, 2018

Weekly Wrap - Never Never Never Give Up

It's that time in the summer when things really start to heat up around here. It makes it hard to want to do anything, (except hang out in the water) especially workouts. I know that there are no shortcuts to results and that if I want to stay fit (and get fitter), I have to push on. Fortunately there were signs that reminded me to never give up and by the end of the week, I was feeling really good! Here's my Weekly Wrap with Holly and Wendy.

Use my affiliate link to learn more about the FWTFL program here.

Interval Training:
Monday's outdoor Tabata workout was a tough one and my body was not a happy camper afterwards. I think I was suffering from a little dehydration stomach cramping. Tuesday I used the motivation from my new Lorna Jane tank to bounce back and had an awesome treadmill hill repeat workout. PS - I shared some treadmill workouts for non-runners here.

Strength Training:
This week's workouts on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday were all pyramid sets: when you start out light and gradually increase the weight while decreasing the reps. I really liked this method. Each rep felt more effective because I wasn't trying to power through with heavier weights. I am beginning to really feel my muscles working in my upper body. I still have a lot of work to do in my legs, but two separate compliments this week reminded me that the work pays off.

Active Rest Days:
On Friday I took a sunrise walk along the beach, but Sunday! Sunday mrC was back from a trip and we took the SUP boards out for an amazing paddle. I love when we sit down and just float, talk and take in the views of where we live. It was a great way to wrap up the week!

Do you use your workout gear as motivation?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Treadmill Workouts for Non-Runners

For my interval training workout today I choose treadmill hill repeats. I was in the mood for something different ---> aka something other than the elliptical. I still love the elliptical for sprints, but I've been missing my old friend the treadmill. So I took a workout that was meant to be for runners (and I have done it that way in the past) and modified it to be a walking interval workout.

Broke in my new Lorna Jane Never Never Never Give Up tank today. Love!
(can't beat the price on Amazon)

This got me thinking about other treadmill workouts for non-runners like me. Just because we can't run, don't like to run or have a running injury doesn't mean that the treadmill is off limits for a good interval training workout.

I talked about interval training in this post and today I'm going to share some really good treadmill interval workouts (including the one I did today) that can be modified to match your level of walking.

This is the workout I did today (my speeds are in kph...because I live in Hong Kong):

From online friends and apps that I've tried and liked (if no speed or incline is indicated, chose what's best for you):

I thought this one sounded fun, but I haven't tried it yet (I've got to get over my worrying about what others at the gym will think issues):

This shows how to use the basic interval training plan, just choose the walking speed that fits your fitness.

Of course these workouts can all be modified for all the runners out there, too.

Do you do workouts on the treadmill or do you just walk/run?

Today I'm doing the link-up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run! 

*Please note that all speeds are suggestions. Set your treadmill speed to what best suits your fitness ability.

**Also, if a warmup/cool down is not included in the workout, be sure to include 5-10 minutes of movement before starting the workout and 10-15 minutes after finishing.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Never Miss a Workout - Weekly Wrap

It was one of those weeks when daily life commitments clashed with the workout schedule. With a little pre-planning, I was able to rearrange my workouts. I'm pretty excited to be able to say that for the past five weeks of following my carb cycling program, I have never missed a workout.

Interval Training 
On Monday I did a new elliptical sprint workout. I still used a 1:2 ratio, but did 30 seconds sprint to 1 minute recovery instead of 20:40 like I had been doing. That extra 10 seconds of work definitely maxed out my muscles. After 10 sprints, I did a 15 minute cool down on the elliptical and then a plank circuit. Tuesday's HIIT in the park turned out to be my favorite ---> because it almost beat me but I pushed through and finished 7 rounds of 7 reps of 7 different exercises.

(PS - did you see my interval training post?)

Strength Training
I had to move some of my training days around this week, but I still got everything done. Thursday I needed to do my workout at home, but the leg day home version was just as tough even though most of it was bodyweight exercises. Drop sets on Wednesday and Sunday were fun. Each week feels like I'm getting better at using the right weights and I like that I can push myself to go heavy for one set then drop to lighter for the remaining sets. Using heavier weights is hurting my hands though, so I'm thinking about getting a pair of training gloves ---> something like these from Nike on Amazon, but I don't know if they're what I need or not.

Active Rest Days
Friday and Saturday I did Yoga with Adriene videos - Go With The Flow and Total Body Yoga. The change of workout days worked in my favor as my legs were really sore from Thursday's leg day. Two days of yoga felt good.

Do you wear training gloves?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Interval Training in 5 Easy Steps

Interval training is one of my favorite ways to workout. I love the combination of high intensity and low intensity periods used back and forth, back and forth, throughout the workout. In a quick 15-20 minute workout, your body can burn calories more efficiently and continue to burn longer throughout the day.

The key to interval training is push to max effort during the high intensity period (work) and then rest from cardio (but keep moving) during the low intensity period (recovery).

Interval Training in 5 Easy Steps

1) Decide what kind of workout you want to do: What are you in the mood for or what can you do? I'm all about what you can, when you can so I mix things up. There are lots of interval training options like HIIT, Tabata, sprints (run, elliptical, swim), even jumping jacks alone can be your workout. Any type of aerobic workout will work. Pick what works best for you, but at the same time will challenge your body.

2) Plan your intervals: Again, so many options! If you are just beginning, you will want to start with a work to recovery ratio of 1 to 4 which means your recovery will be 4 times longer than your work. For example: 5 seconds work to 20 seconds recovery or 30 seconds work to 2 minutes recovery. As you become fitter, you can adjust the work to recovery ratio so that you spend more time at max effort and less time in recovery ---> 1:3, (intermediate) 1:2, 1:1. 2:1, (advanced) 3:1, 4:1.

3) Warm-up: I highly recommend doing at least 10 minutes of easy warm-up (like walking) before doing high intensity workouts.

4) Use a timer: This will make doing your workout so much easier. Instead of staring at a clock or your watch, download an interval app (this is my favorite) on your phone or look for something like a Gymboss timer.

5) Cool down: A low intensity cool down is just as important as the workout. The longer the cool down the better so the body can metabolize the fat it was using during the workout instead of letting it return to where it came from!

I really began to understand the impact of interval training when I first started carb cycling. FASTer Way to Fat Loss® pairs interval training with low carb days, which forces the body to reach for stored fat as energy (learn more here). I wasn't running at the time, so I did all my interval training workouts on the elliptical or doing HIIT workouts. It's really easy to make interval training work for you.

Do you do interval training?

I'm linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Avoiding Muscle Soreness: Three Common Supplements

With all the strength training I've been doing and using heavier weights, I expected to have more muscle soreness than I have been (not that I'm complaining). Don't get the wrong idea, my muscles definitely FEEL like they've been through a workout. It's just that in the past, my soreness would be seriously intense. Like hard to walk and move intense.

Do I stretch after every workout? For the most part, yes. Do I foam roll? Not as often as I should. I have a lot of faith in my recovery sandals, but since I just received a new pair from Amazon I don't think they can take all the credit.

So what's going on?

My answer...supplements. I have started using a couple of new supplements that have super powers.


I started taking BCAAs after getting the flu in February as an energy aid. BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) also play a major role in muscle recovery. Basically, by taking one serving before my workout I get an energy boost to my muscles that helps me get through the workout. That same serving helps me bounce back quicker with less delayed onset muscle soreness occurring.


Every night before I go to bed I take a magnesium pill. Magnesium is calming and helps muscles relax which can help with sleep issues (which I have sometimes), but it also aids in the muscle recovery process. Magnesium is an anti-inflammatory which can help with post-workout inflammation and it relieves tight muscles which are a common result of lactic acid build up.

Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM)

Natural Eggshell Membrane was recommended to me by my chiropractor because it is known to help repair cartilage and because Glucosamine makes me nauseous ---> which I learned before having my meniscectomy. NEM contains naturally occurring glucosamine (so no side effects) which in some research is said to also help repair damaged tissue and reduce inflammation aiding muscle recovery.

While I started taking these supplements for other reasons, I will happily enjoy the extra benefit of less muscle soreness.

What I use (affiliate links):

BPI Sports Best BCAA Powder - arctic ice flavor

Life Extension Magnesium - 160mg

Healthy Origins Natural Eggshell Membrane

Do your supplements have super powers?

Today I'm doing the link-up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run!